Saturday, July 20, 2024

Hearing Loss Explained: Do You Know These 3 Types of Hearing Loss, Their Causes, and Treatments?

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( The human ear has three parts – the outer, middle and inner ear. Hearing loss can result if there is a problem with any of these three parts. All hearing loss is not the same. In fact, there are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed. Read on to find out what each of these means, what causes it and how it can be treated.

Types and causes of hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss happens when a problem in the outer or middle ear prevents sound from passing adequately into the inner ear. This can be caused by a build-up of earwax, a punctured eardrum, ear infections, a build-up of fluid from colds and allergies or abnormal bone growth in the middle ear. If an object is stuck in the ear, hearing loss can also result.

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the cochlea and/or the auditory nerve malfunctions or is damaged in such a way that it can’t accurately send electrical information to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is often permanent and it the most common form of permanent hearing loss.

It can be caused by a blow to the head, genetics, aging, disease or exposure to loud noises or certain types of chemicals. It can also occur because of auditory neuropathy in which the nerves that carry sound to the brain are damaged.

When conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss occur together, it is known as mixed hearing loss. While the sensorineural aspect tends to be permanent, the conductive aspect can be either temporary. Hearing loss with two causes can make a hearing problem worse than it would be if only one condition were present. As an example, hearing loss caused by constant exposure to loud noises can be made worse by an ear infection.

Treatment for hearing loss

There are varying ways to treat hearing loss and they often depend on the cause of the problem. If earwax or a foreign object in the ear are preventing proper hearing, removing them may be sufficient.

Hearing aids are the most common solution. They come in varying sizes and some are more powerful than others. They can help you to detect the direction or sound, makes it easier to hear amidst noise and improve hearing overall. Check out this free hearing aid guide if you need help finding a solution for you or a loved one.

A cochlear implant can help sound to bypass damaged nerve cells in the inner ear and reach the auditory nerve. In case of sensorineural hearing loss. It should be noted that while this can improve hearing, it won’t take it back to pre-damage levels.

Bone-anchored hearing devices or bone conduction hearing devices can help people with conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss resulting from problems in the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear. These surgically-implanted devices can help the wearer to pick up sounds that wouldn’t otherwise be heard or that would be heard softly.

In addition to these solutions, audiologic rehabilitation can help people affected by hearing loss to learn to hear again. In group or individual sessions, they can learn to properly use their hearing aids or other assistive devices and communicate with others.

As you’ve read, hearing loss can be caused by several factors. Luckily, there are many treatments and solutions which help to improve hearing. See a professional to determine which solution is right for you.

Staff Writer; Shirley Brown

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