- A conductive hearing loss results from a problem in the outer or middle ear which does not allow sound to pass through the auditory system normally.
- Causes include: earwax, a perforated eardrum, fluid/infection in the middle ear, calcification of the middle ear bones, etc.
- Often times, it can be treated medically or surgically
- Effect: a decrease in loudness
- A sensorineural loss results from a problem in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
- Causes include: aging (presbycusis), noise exposure, genetics, virus, ototoxic medications, etc.
- This type of loss is typically permanent
- To improve communication, hearing aids and assistive listening devices may help.
- Decrease in loudness
- Decrease in discrimination. Even when things are loud enough, they are not clear. “I can hear, but I do not understand the words.” “Everyone mumbles.”
- Reduced dynamic range- soft sounds are not loud enough, but louder sounds are uncomfortable
- A mixed hearing loss is a combination of a conductive and sensorineural loss