Different Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is something that anyone can experience at any point in their life. Hearing is one of the most important senses of ours, and whenever someone suffers from hearing loss problems, it can heavily affect their way of life. A person with hearing loss problems can face various problems in their life as they face difficulties in communicating with other people, and in doing every other thing that requires hearing ability. So, it is really important to detect hearing loss problems as soon as possible so that you can start taking measures to deal with your hearing loss and get on with your normal life.
Hearing loss can develop over a long period of time, but at the same time, hearing loss can be sudden too. Again, some people might have hearing loss from their birth as a result of a birth defect, or a genetic problem. Whatever the reason behind causing it, hearing loss affects all people in the same way. But the treatment methods for hearing loss problems, such as using hearing aids, using cochlear implants, surgeries, medications, etc. depend on the type of hearing loss problem you have.
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Hearing loss can be of different types. Depending on the reason for suffering from hearing loss in the first place, a person gets affected with a certain type of hearing loss. And each type of hearing loss gets caused by a different set of reasons and affects hearing in a different set of ways. Also, their treatment methods are different too. So, to understand which treatment method you should go for, you need to know about the types of hearing loss at first.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are three primary types of hearing loss, and each type gets caused due to different reasons, and each type is caused for each kind of dysfunction in the ear parts. There are three parts in the ear, which are the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. These parts of the ear play different roles in the whole hearing process, and they face dysfunctions during hearing loss. So, the hearing loss types depend on the kind of dysfunction a person is facing in the parts of their ear too. Now let’s have a look at the hearing loss types.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss or SNHL is a permanent type of hearing loss problem. It mainly occurs due to the damage one suffers in the hearing cells of the inner ear. The hearing cells can get damaged due to exposure to loud noise, or they can even get damaged over time. The more a person grows older, the more their hearing cells can get damaged and they can start suffering from sensorineural hearing loss. Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean all old people suffer from it.
This type of hearing loss is also the most common type of hearing loss, and when it occurs the auditory nerves that go from the ear to the brain get damaged, or just the cochlea or inner ear gets damaged in general. And when this occurs, you won’t ever be able to cure it totally. So, you will have to resort to treatment methods such as using hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc. so that you can listen better and keep your hearing health from further deteriorating. And these methods can help you get on with your normal life despite your hearing loss.
Apart from age-related and noise-induced hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by genetic problems, head trauma, sudden exposure to really loud noise, using drugs that are toxic for ears, etc.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is not a permanent type of hearing loss like the sensorineural one. Instead, it can be cured totally by going through surgeries, medications, or other specific measures. Conductive hearing loss problems occur when sound can’t efficiently conduct through your outer ear canal to the eardrum, and to the small bones of your middle ear.
Conductive hearing loss causes a reduction in the sound level you can hear, and or it causes the inability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can be caused due to various reasons such as ear infection, allergies, fluid in the ear due to cold or congestion, poor eustachian tube function, perforated eardrum, impacted earwax, malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear bones, presence of something foreign in the ear, etc.
As this hearing loss type is temporary, you will be able to cure them properly. You will have to see an audiologist and get through proper medications or surgeries as per the instructions of the audiologist.
Mixed Hearing Loss
When a sensorineural hearing loss occurs simultaneously with a conductive hearing loss, then it is called a mixed hearing loss problem. If someone faces damage in their auditory nerve or inner ear, and at the same time in their middle ear or outer ear too, they might suffer from mixed hearing loss problems. You need to go through a specific treatment process as per the prescription of your audiologist to treat these problems.
No matter what type of hearing loss problem you suffer from, there will always be specific treatment measures for your problem. Make sure to go through them as soon as you get diagnosed so that you can get on with your normal life, and take care of your hearing health.