Types of Hearing Loss

At Lemme Audiology in Altoona, Pennsylvania, we take the time to learn about your situation, and work to find the best solution to fit your hearing loss needs. Our comprehensive audiometric evaluations detect the type and severity of your hearing loss. Knowing this information is crucial in determining your treatment options.

The three main types of hearing loss are:

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the nerves of the inner ear (or cochlea) or those on the pathway from the cochlea to the brain are missing or damaged. This form of hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically treated, and the severity ranges from slightly reduced hearing to complete deafness. Hearing aids are the most common form of treatment, but cochlear implants are an alternative possibility for severe cases.

Causes include:
• The aging process
• Ototoxic drugs
• Head trauma
• Certain illnesses
• Exposure to loud sounds (noise-induced hearing loss)

Conductive hearing loss originates in the external or middle ear, occurs when sound cannot travel through the ear canal to the eardrum and results in a complete reduction of sound. Treatment options may include medication, surgery, hearing aids, or the use of an implantable direct bone conduction system

Causes include:
• Ear infections
• Perforated ear drum
• Allergies
• Impacted wax
• Malformation of part of the ear

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Often, the cause is damage to the cochlea and/or the outer or middle ear. Treatment options may include hearing aids, medications, surgery or an implantable direct bone conduction system.

Proper identification of your hearing loss result is the first step in your journey to better hearing. Contact us today to schedule your hearing evaluation.