Hearing Loss: Four Types
Sensorineural Hearing Loss (or nerve-related deafness) involves damage to the inner ear caused by aging, pre-natal and birth-related problems, viral and bacterial infections, heredity, trauma, exposure to loud noise, fluid backup or benign tumor in the inner ear. Almost all sensorineural hearing losses can be effectively treated with hearing aids.
Signs and symptoms of Sensorineural Hearing Loss may include:
- Perceiving speech and other sounds distorted or unclear
- Difficulty hearing certain pitches (usually high pitches)
- Hearing a ringing or buzzing sound that is constant or periodic
- Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise
Conductive Hearing Loss involves the outer and middle ear that may be caused by blockage of wax, punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infection or heredity, and often can be effectively treated medically or surgically.
Signs and symptoms of Conductive Hearing Loss may include:
- Perceiving speech and other sounds as faint or muffled
- Ear pain or discharge from the ear
- Redness or swelling of the outer ear
- Pressure or fullness in the ear
Mixed Hearing Loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
Signs and symptoms of Mixed Hearing Loss may include:
See “Signs/Symptoms” under Conductive hearing loss & Sensorineural hearing loss.
Central Hearing Loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves of nuclei of the central nervous syem, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.
Signs and symptoms of Central Hearing Loss may include:
Detecting sounds but not being able to understand or process it.