Hearing loss comes in many shapes and sizes. The different types of hearing loss each have different symptoms and must be managed differently.
If you think you may have a hearing loss, no matter what type, it’s a good idea to visit your local audiologist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician to see what’s going on and what steps you can take to improve your ability to hear and understand speech.
There are three primary types of hearing loss:
Let's take a look at each in-depth and examine their symptoms and the various ways to manage each type.
Hearing loss associated with a pathology of the outer or middle ear
Impacted ear wax
Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear (otosclerosis)
Difficultly hearing soft sounds
Loud sounds sound muffled
Ear drainage of fluid
See an audiologist or ENT for medical management
Sensorineural (aka sensory)
Hearing loss due to damage to the cochlea or nerves from the inner ear to the brain
Drugs that are toxic to hearing
Reduced ability to detect sound
Difficulty understanding speech in noise
Speech sounding unclear even if it is loud enough
Sensitivity to loud sounds
See an audiologist
You may be a candidate for hearing aids or could benefit from assistive listening devices
A mixture of the two types above!
Damage can occur at more than one place along the auditory pathway.
Having mix of both - refer to causes above
See above symptoms
See an audiologist or ENT
The conductive portion may be able to be resolved through medical management
The sensorineural component of the hearing loss may be managed hearing aids or other audiologic treatment