Types of hearing loss

Different types of hearing loss requires different treatment options.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is a problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear. Conductive hearing losses are generally mild to moderate in nature.

Most conductive hearing losses are temporary and can be treated with medication or surgery, depending on the cause of the conductive hearing loss.

Different types of treatment options (non-surgical) are available for more permanent conductive hearing losses, such as hearing aids, middle ear implants or bone conduction implants.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the cochlea (inner ear) when hair cells are missing or damaged. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent. A variety of treatment options are available based on the degree of the sensorineural hearing loss (mild, moderate, severe or profound).

Treatment options for individuals with mild to severe sensorineural hearing loss include the fitting of hearing aids or a middle ear implant. When the sensorineural hearing loss is of a severe to profound degree, cochlear implantation might be considered.

Sensorineural hearing loss can also present in different configurations which can also influence the treatment option.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is the combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing losses from problems in the outer, middle and inner ear. Careful consideration by both the audiologist and the ear-, nose- & throat specialist will guide the intervention process.