Types of Hearing Loss

There are three basic types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural
  • Mixed

Conductive hearing loss

Occurs when sound is not sent easily through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones(ossicles) of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss makes sounds softer and less easy to hear . This type of hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically.

Sensorineural hearing loss

SNHL happens when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain.Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss

Occurs when a conductive hearing loss happens in combination with an Sensorineural hearing loss happens in combination with an Sensorineural hearing loss. In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.

Hearing loss should be tested at birth and at regular intervals

  • Every child should have a hearing assessment soon after birth. Early identification and intervention is crucial for language development.
  • Every adult who is consistently exposed to high noise levels should have regular hearing assessments.
  • Every individual should undergo a hearing assessment to detect, intervene and help preserve communication and listening skills.

Hearing Test and Audiogram

  • If you suspect that you have hearing loss , make an appointment with a Hearing Care Professional to have a hearing test.
  • After the age of 50 , a regular hearing test should be a part of your annual health check-up.
  • Hearing test is easy , comfortable and safe.
  • Your ability to hear the volume of each (frequency), produces a unique pattern which is recorded as an audiogram.
  • the audiogram is used to determine the type and degree of the hearing loss. The results determine if the hearing loss is best treated medically or with hearing instruments.Based on the audiometry results a suitable hearing instrument can be advised by the Hearing Care Professional.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may result in:

  • Misunderstanding conversation, missing the punch line of jokes.
  • Loss of confidence
  • Avoiding group meetings, social occasions or family gatherings where listening may be difficult.
  • Asking others to repeat themselves.
  • Difficulty in hearing TV/Radio(need to increase volume) and telephone.
  • Difficulty in hearing at public gatherings, concert halls, distant sound source.
  • Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen at any age and can be due to:

  • Natural ageing process
  • Toxic medication
  • Exposure to loud or constant noise
  • Ear infection
  • Illness or complications at birth
  • Tumour
  • Heredity/congenital causes
  • Trauma/Injury

Sensorineural Hearing loss may occur due to:

  • Ageing
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Constant noise at work
  • Hobbies like shooting
  • Ototoxic medication
  • Loud musioc, rock concerts headphones/earphones

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