You might have your suspicions as to what caused your hearing condition. Workplace noise exposure, a family history of deafness, or even trauma from an accident may have directly caused you to lose your hearing. However, there are many factors that combine to create a unique hearing loss in each person, and your hearing care professional must determine the type and degree of your hearing loss in order to find the most effective treatment.
There are three recognized types of hearing loss, including:
- Sensorineural. Over 90 percent of patients with hearing loss are suffering from sensorineural losses. In most cases, this type of loss is caused by the loss of tiny hair cells in the inner ear, which are vital in transmitting sound waves to the auditory nerve. These hair cells can be lost as a person ages, due to high noise levels, as a result of illnesses, or from toxic medications. Some patients with sensorineural hearing loss have suffered damage to the auditory nerve itself, preventing the sounds from being transmitted to the brain.
- Conductive. Conductive hearing loss is commonly caused by a problem with the eardrum, membranes, or bones in the middle ear. Patients with this type of loss may have some type of blockage in the ear canal that prevents sound transmission, such as a buildup of fluid, swelling from an ear infection, a benign tumor, or impacted earwax. Medication may help to relieve hearing loss symptoms in these cases, but some patients may require hearing aids if their conductive loss stems from malformations and poor functioning in the ear structures.
- Mixed. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of damage to the outer and middle ear, as well as sensory issues in the inner ear or hearing nerve. Your hearing care provider will have to determine how much of your hearing loss is conductive and how much is sensorineural to determine which treatment will provide the most benefit.
Find Out the Cause of Your Hearing Loss Today!
It is important to know that while there are only three types of hearing loss, no two patients will have the exact same hearing impairment. Our Philadelphia-area hearing care specialists take a full health history and perform a comprehensive hearing exam to pinpoint the best form of treatment for your condition. Click on the appointment button above to find the hearing healthcare office nearest you, or call the number on this page to have one of our professionals come to your home at no cost to you!