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Types of Hearing Losses and Common Pathologies

Person having hearing issues

Most people experiencing difficulty hearing think they need to wear a hearing aid. Since hearing aids are expensive, they ignore the problem until it worsens. Hearing loss can be a symptom of many different things. It can be due to earwax building up, ear infection, problems with the eardrum, fluid in the middle ear, problems with the tiny bones inside the middle ear, nerve problems, cochlea problems, etc. 

Many different pathologies can cause hearing loss. It is essential to have a person’s ear checked and hearing tested to know where it is coming from and what management best deals with the problem. With the help of the hearing test, we can determine the type of hearing loss and make the necessary recommendations. 

Types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearing losses, and these are:

  1. Conductive Hearing Loss – This hearing loss generally affects the outer and middle ear. It is usually a reversible hearing loss caused by earwax accumulation in the outer ear, perforation of the eardrum, otitis media, etc.
  2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss– This is caused by an internal problem such as the cochlea or nerve. This is a typical type of hearing loss due to aging and is an irreversible type of Hearing loss.
  3. Mixed Hearing Loss – This hearing loss combines conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. The issues occur in the outer or middle of the inner ear.

Common pathologies related to hearing loss

These are the common pathologies related to hearing loss and the treatments possible:

  1. Otitis Media: Inflammation of the middle ear, often due to infection. Antibiotics to treat the infection, ear drops, and in severe cases, surgery to drain fluid.
  2. Presbycusis: Age-related hearing loss. Medical advise includes Hearing aids, cochlear implants, or assistive listening devices.
  3. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises over time. Like presbycusis, hearing protection, hearing aids, or cochlear implants are advised.
  4. Ototoxicity: Hearing loss caused by exposure to certain drugs or chemicals. We advise avoiding further exposure to the offending substance and using alternative medications or hearing aids.
  5. Meniere’s disease: A disorder of the inner ear that affects balance and Hearing. It is advisable to check diet and fluid management, medications, and in severe cases, surgery.
  6. Acoustic Neuroma: A non-cancerous tumor that grows on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. Medical practitioners should do observation, radiation therapy, or surgery to remove the tumor from patients.
  7. Genetic hearing loss: Hearing loss caused by inherited genetic mutations. Patients should consider cochlear implants, hearing aids, or genetic counseling.

Are you experiencing hearing problems? See an audiologist or ear, nose, and throat doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Please send us a message for evaluation and set an appointment with our reliable audiologists at The Listening Lab’s Hearing & Implant Centre.