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Types of hearing loss

Posted On: September 6, 2022

1 in 6 Australians suffers from some level of hearing loss. Hearing loss affects both adults and children of all ages. Hearing loss can have significant impacts on social, emotional, and physical well-being and can lead to social isolation and difficulties at work and/or school.

There are many different causes of hearing loss and there are two main types of hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss Is when the hearing loss is caused by a problem with the outer or middle part of the ear (the ear canal, eardrum, middle ear bones, middle ear fluid). Some causes of conductive hearing loss can be temporary, such as ear wax occlusion, outer ear infections, middle ear fluid (middle ear infection) and Eustachian tube dysfunction. Other causes of conductive hearing loss can be persistent such as middle ear bone ossification (otosclerosis) and middle ear bone malformation

Sensorineural hearing loss Is when hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells inside the cochlear (inner ear). This type of hearing loss cannot be reversed. It can be caused by general age-related changes to the inner ear (presbycusis), exposure to loud noise, autoimmune diseases, head trauma and other medical conditions involving the inner ear.

A hearing test at Helix Hearing will identify (if any) the type and degree of hearing loss and the audiologist will be able to explain your results in detail. Sometimes a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist will be recommended to further investigate the cause of hearing loss. If a hearing loss is diagnosed, your audiologist will be able to explain all the options available to you to reduce the impact it has on your life. Sometimes this will include a recommendation for hearing aid use and sometimes other options will be more suitable. The treatment/rehabilitation plan will depend on your hearing loss type, cause and degree, your lifestyle, and the level of communication difficulty you are experiencing.