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Types of Hearing Loss

This April Fools’ Day, don’t miss out on all the jokes.

Find yourself missing the punchline of jokes, but not wanting to ask to have it repeated?

Get a simple hearing test and find out if you have hearing loss, what might be causing it, and if it can be treated.

If your hearing test shows that you do have hearing loss, there are many different possible causes, and treatment options will vary.

There are two types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss, and some may experience a mixture of both types.

Conductive hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and bones (malleus, incus, and stapes). Causes of conductive hearing loss can be minor and temporary issues such as fluid in the middle ear from colds, an ear infection, allergies, impacted earwax, or infection in the ear canal. Acute infections can generally be treated with antibiotic or antifungal medications. However, if it is chronic and does not respond to initial medical therapy, surgery or pressure equalizing tubes may be used. More serious causes of conductive hearing loss are malformation of outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear structures, poor Eustachian tube function, benign tumors, foreign body in the ear, or otoslerosis (a chronic genetic disorder causing abnormal growth of bone near the middle ear) and may be possibly surgically corrected. If not successfully corrected with surgery, conductive hearing loss may be improved with a hearing aid or surgically implanted device, depending on the status of the hearing nerve.

Sensorineural hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, typically affecting the cochlea (hearing organ) or auditory nerve. Some causes of sensorineural hearing loss are situational or environmental factors such as exposure to loud noise, head trauma, virus or disease, or aging. Genetic or internal causes can be autoimmune inner ear disease, hearing loss that runs in the family, malformation of the inner ear, Meniere’s Disease, otoslerosis, or tumors. Depending on the specific cause and severity of the sensorineural hearing loss, treatments can range from medical treatment with corticosteroids, various surgical procedures, hearing aids, or cochlear implants.

Having a hearing test is the first step in diagnosing what type of hearing loss you are experiencing and building a treatment plan.

Don’t miss out on any more punch lines.