Causes of Hearing Loss Vs Types

A) Conductive Loss

Conductive hearing loss is the generic term for a decrease in hearing levels as a result of any pathology of the outer ear or middle ear systems. The specific site of the disorder can be in the ear canal, middle ear cavity, tempering membrane, ossicles or Eustachian tube, or can co-exists in several of these areas. This prevents the efficient conduction of sound to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss generally produces a mild to moderate level of hearing loss. It can affect hearing in all frequencies relatively equally, or be present just for the lower frequency sounds.

Conductive Hearing Loss is a result of sounds being reduced on their way from the outer ear to the inner ear. Generally persons with conductive loss benefit from medicine or surgery. If surgery is not possible, Hearing aids tend to benefit.

Acquired Conductive Loss: As described above, any kind of external or middle ear diseases or disorders can cause conductive loss.

B) Sensory Neural Hearing Loss

Impairment originates from disorders involving sensory cells in the cochlea and / or the auditory nerve fibers of the VIIIth cranial nerve.

A Sensorineural Hearing Loss is caused by damaged sensory cell and nerve fibers of the inner ear contrary to conductive loss where damage occurs in the outer ear, ear canal or middle ear. This kind of loss cannot be treated by medicine or surgery and may benefit most from hearing aids.

Acquired Sensory Neural Loss: (Usually denoted as Age induced hearing loss or 'Presbycusis')

Presbycusis is the most common type of hearing loss & is associated with the ageing process. A gradual decline in hearing sensitivity sets in at the age of 18 years, but it is around the age of 45 - 50 that a noticeable change in hearing sensitivity for speech and environmental sound occurs, Sound is perceived but the sound Discrimination is difficult (what exactly is being said is not clear). Talk on one to one basis is perhaps understood but when it comes to "one is to many" that is in group situation it is difficult to recognize what has been just said as well as to locate the sound i.e. who said it from the group of friends talking.

Age induced hearing loss has an individual progression, which means that some may experience hearing problems quite early in life, while others experience it later in life. Loss in hearing sensitivity is most often bilateral, symmetric, progressive & sensorineural in nature. It is generally greatest in the higher frequencies, but present across all frequencies.

C) Mixed Hearing loss

Is one which contains elements from both the hearing loss referred above. These cases may be helped with surgery, but most benefit by wearing Hearing Aid.