There are two types of hearing loss – conductive and sensorineural.
When to get a Hearing Evaluation?
Adults who have one or more of the following signs or symptoms
- Friends or family suspect hearing trouble
- Loss of clarity or muffled speech
- Diizziness, vertigo, or unsteadiness
- Hear ringing, buzzing, roaring or hissing in one or both ears (tinnitus)
- Pain in one or both ears
- Withdraw from conversation
- Avoid social settings
- Difficulty following conversation, especially when in a group
Children who display one or more of the following
- Poor speech
- Speech or language delay
- Turning TV up louder than normal
- Does not startle to loud sound
- Does not respond when spoken to
- Responds inappropriately
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is dampened on its pathway to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically.
Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss include:
- Ear infection (otitis media)
- Fluid in the middle ear from colds
- Poor eustachian tube function
- Scarring on the eardrum from repeat infections or ear surgery
- Hole in the eardrum
- Swimmer’s ear
- Foreign object(s) stuck in the ear canal
- Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear
- Damage to the tiny bones (ossicles) in the middle ear
- Benign tumors
- Impacted earwax (cerumen)
One of the treatments for conductive hearing loss is ear tubes. To learn more about ear tubes, click here.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the sensory cells in the inner ear or along the pathway from the inner ear to the brain or in the brain. This type of hearing loss often cannot be reversed. Hearing aids are usually very helpful for this type of loss.
Some of the causes for this type of hearing loss include:
- Presbyacusis (Age-related hearing loss)
- Exposure to loud noises over time
- Exposure to a sudden and unexpected loud noise
- Head injury