Hearing loss can reduce your quality of life, but with the right help, it doesn’t have to. The first thing to do is to identify the type of hearing loss you have. Below are the different types of hearing losses and their corresponding treatments.
Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss is due to a physical blockage or damage within the outer and/or middle ear. Because of the obstruction or damage, sound is not able to pass through.
The most common cause of conductive hearing loss is a blockage within external ear canal or middle ear cavity. . This can be due to an excessive ear wax build up or a foreign object in the external ear canal, or infection in the middle ear. Other health conditions which can cause conductive hearing loss include malformation of the ear canal structure, and benign tumours.
Treating conductive hearing loss usually involves removing the blockage, typically consisting of medication or a surgical procedure. The patient is not completely void of hearing and may be able to recover their full hearing as soon as the problem is treated.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage in the patient’s inner ear. The inner ear is where the cochlear and the auditory nerve is located. This nerve is responsible for sending sound signals to your brain. Damage to the auditory nerve can significantly affect a person’s hearing and is generally permanent in nature.
This type of hearing loss is commonly due to the natural aging process with the nerves slowly degrading over time. Constant exposure to loud sounds, such as listening to music through headphones at an excessive volume or occupational noise exposure, can also degrade the nerve. Certain diseases can also cause sensorineural hearing loss, such as autoimmune diseases, viruses and tumours.
There are no medical procedures which can completely restore a person’s auditory nerve. For patients with this condition, hearing aids can help to partially restore their ability to perceive sound. If the hearing loss is of a profound nature a cochlear implants may be recommended. This implant can bypass any damage within your inner ear and transmit sound towards the nerve responsible for hearing. Your qualified Audiologist can test and advise you on the best course of action.
Mixed hearing loss
This condition occurs when a person is experiencing both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. The combination of both conditions indicates that both the persons’ inner, and or middle/outer ear are damaged.
Mixed hearing loss is usually caused by the same factors occurring in both sensorineural and conductive hearing losses. An elderly person, for example, might be suffering from a degraded auditory nerve as well as a blockage within the middle ear.
Treating mixed hearing loss patients may involve medical intervention, surgery and/or hearing aids.
If you think you may suffer from one of these types of hearing loss, you can find out more by calling Affordable Hearing on 1300 658 742. Their team of specialists can help diagnose and treat the problem so you can enjoy a better quality of life. More comprehensive information is available on the Affordable Hearing website.