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What are the different types of hearing loss?

Hearing loss is categorized into three types, each caused by different factors and requires different levels of hearing aid technology.

Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the auditory nerve or the inner ear, specifically damage to the nerve fibers or hair cells of the auditory system. This is the most common type of hearing loss in adults.

The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are noise exposure and age-related changes. A disturbance in the circulation of the inner ear may also result in hearing loss. Fortunately, there are numerous options for patients with sensorineural hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is linked to problems in the middle or external ear. With conductive hearing loss, sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear bones, resulting in the reduction of hearing.

This may be caused by earwax blockage or other obstruction in the ear canal, perforation in the eardrum, middle ear fluid, middle ear infection,or other disease of the middle or inner ear. If you are diagnosed with conductive hearing loss, you may benefit from hearing aids, medication, medical implants, or surgical options.

Mixed hearing loss
When there are problems in both the middle and inner ear, the diagnosis will be a mixed hearing impairment. Since mixed hearing loss links both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, treatment options will depend on the nature of the impairment and the symptoms.

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