Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot reach the inner ear due to a problem of the outer or middle ear. Common problems that can cause conductive hearing loss include ear wax (cerumen), outer ear infection (otitis externa), a hole in the eardrum, (tympanic membrane perforation), negative pressure of the middle ear (Eustachian tube dysfunction), or fluid in the middle ear (otitis media).
Other causes of conductive hearing loss can include a tumor or cyst in the middle ear (cholesteatoma), damage of the hearing bones (ossicles) due to chronic infections, or stiffening of the joints of the ossicles (such as otosclerosis).
Less common causes of conductive hearing loss can include abnormalities of the inner ear, such as superior semicircular canal dehiscence (SSCD) or large vestibular aqueduct syndrome (LVAS).
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by a problem in the neural structures of the inner ear. It is the most common neurologic disability in the U.S. Patients will often note a history of hearing loss in the family, suggesting that there may be genetic factors in certain individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.
Mixed Hearing Loss
In some cases, patients may have a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. For patients living with mixed hearing loss, there may be multiple treatment options available to improve and address hearing problems.
Early intervention is critical for children with hearing loss. Providing your child or loved one with access to sound can greatly impact their development of language, as well their social, emotional, psychological and educational well-being. If you believe your child may have some degree of hearing loss, please contact us today to schedule an evaluation with our experts in pediatric audiology and otology.