Types and Causes of Hearing Loss

In general, hearing loss can be categorized into one of three groups: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. The main difference between them is where the hearing loss takes place in the ear — does the hearing loss come from something in the outer, middle, or inner ear? It can also include whether the hearing loss is due to your auditory nerve or due to damage or blockage to your ear.

If you think you or someone you know has one of these types of hearing loss, you can read our guide on the signs and symptoms of hearing loss or call us to schedule a hearing test.

Types of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and occurs when the root cause lies in the inner ear, a sensory organ or the nerve that transmits sound information from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss can be caused by many factors such as heredity, age, continuous exposure to excessive noise, diabetes, and more.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem transferring sound waves into the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by excessive earwax, an infection, a perforated eardrum, and many other causes. Most conductive hearing loss can be fixed medically, using special medication, simple procedures, or surgery.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss occurs when there is both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss present. This can happen if there is damage to the outer ear as well as the inner ear. Having mixed hearing loss might make your hearing worse than if you just had one type of hearing loss.

 

Other Types of Hearing Loss

 

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About Us

If you have hearing loss, an issue with your hearing aids, or any questions or concerns with your hearing health, contact us today to see how we can help. We offer several services to help:

  • Hearing tests for adults and children
  • Pediatric hearing care services for children
  • Hearing services for clients with coverage through Veteran Affairs Canada, Workers’ Compensation, First Nations, etc.
  • Hearing loss counseling on how to cope with the loss of your hearing
  • Custom made musicians plugs, noise plugs, sleep plugs, swim plugs, etc.
  • Earwax removal (a.k.a. debridement) and ear cleaning, when possible

In addition to the three main types of hearing loss mentioned above, you may have also heard about other kinds of hearing impairment. These tend to be more descriptive categories for hearing loss that touch on the cause, severity, or status of your hearing. In general, they can fall into any of the three main types listed above.

They include the following:

Congenital hearing loss

Congenital hearing loss is hearing loss that is present at birth. It can include hereditary hearing loss as well as hearing loss due to other factors present during birth or in-utero.

Temporary hearing loss

Hearing loss can be temporary and last for short periods of time or until it or the underlying issue is resolved. The top causes for temporary hearing loss are excessive earwax, and middle ear infections. Once any of those problems are removed, you will find that your hearing returns to normal or similar levels.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

There are many causes of hearing loss. Hearing loss with aging and excessive noise exposure are the most common causes of hearing loss, but they are not the only causes.

  • Presbycusis (Aging)
  • Genetics/Heredity/Family history
  • Noise-induced
  • Infection and illness
  • Diabetes
  • Injury and trauma

How to Prevent Hearing Loss?

Here are some things you can do to help prevent hearing loss:

  • If the sound level at work is excessively loud, reduce the noise level or wear hearing protection.
  • Lower the volume of your television, stereo, and phone.
  • Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine.
  • Wear custom ear plugs if you go to rock concerts or nightclubs, and don’t stand near loudspeakers.
  • Wear noise-cancelling headphones if using noisy equipment.

Do you think you might have hearing loss? Contact one of our clinics to request a hearing test.

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