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Types and Causes of Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss:

Conductive hearing loss is often temporary and can often be corrected. Conductive loss stems from problems of the outer or middle ear and can be caused by:

  • Infection
  • Otosclerosis
  • Build-up of wax or fluid
  • Punctured eardrum

This type of hearing loss can be treated with wax removal, medicine or surgery.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss / Nerve Deafness:

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. In fact, it accounts for 90% of all adult hearing problems and is caused by aging and noise. With sensorineural loss:

  • There are problems with the cochlea and the auditory nerve.
  • Sounds not only diminish in volume, but become distorted.
  • High frequency sounds and some spoken words are first to go.
  • Low frequency sounds, such as vowels, are heard better.

This type of hearing loss can be treated with amplification (hearing instruments) and, occasionally, surgery. For more information about surgical procedures, consult a physician.

Mixed Hearing Loss - Both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss occurs at the same time.

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