At Evolve Hearing Center in Los Angeles-Beverly Hills, CA your medical and health status is very important to your audiologist. The history taken by your audiologist can sometimes reveal the cause of your hearing loss; or the results of the hearing test can reveal the cause of your hearing loss. Proper classification of your hearing loss type is the cornerstone of your treatment plan which will determine what steps your audiologist will take to help you solve your problem.
The human ear is a precisely tuned system with a sensitivity and range that inarguably surpasses the most sophisticated and elaborate sound systems ever fabricated. The human ear is comprised of many physiological mechanisms, and a disruption in any of these can cause hearing deficits.
The following sections describes in general the two basic types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural.
Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss is a condition of the outer and/or middle ear. It occurs when sounds from the outside world can’t be transmitted normally along the ear canal and/or middle ear to the tiny nerve endings in the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can be temporary or long term.
- Ear wax build-up
- Ear infection
- Fluid in the middle ear (can be infection or not)
- Perforated ear drum
- Damage to the middle ear bones (Otosclerosis)
- Malformation of outer or middle ear or ear canal
Most Conductive losses can be medically or surgically remedied. If the conductive loss can’t be remedied for any reason, hearing aids can be very helpful to compensate for the loss of loudness.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss. It occurs when some of the tiny nerve endings inside the cochlea become damaged and are unable to transfer sound vibrations into electrical impulses. Sensorinureal can be caused by long-term exposure to loud sounds, but the most common reason is the natural progression of aging.
Once sensorineural hearing loss is established, the condition may progress and will in most cases be permanent. The most typical of symptoms include: a loss of loudness and difficulties understanding speech in quiet situations and especially in noise environments.
- Noise exposure
- Viral infection
There is a third type of loss that is a combination of conductive and sensorineural; it is known as a mixed hearing loss.