Hearing loss is a common problem in today’s society. In fact, about 20% of Americans say they have some degree of hearing loss. Fortunately, today’s technology and knowledge allow audiologists to effectively diagnose and treat most cases of hearing impairment. If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to understand the common causes and symptoms of hearing impairment or loss as well as treatment options. This article is going to provide a brief overview of the two main types of hearing loss: conductive vs sensorineural hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss Cause

When hearing loss is caused by problems with the ear canal, middle ear, or ear drum, it’s considered conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss may be caused by things like:

  • Infection in the middle ear or ear canal
  • Poor Eustachian tube draining
  • Benign tumors
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Allergies
  • Build up of ear wax
  • Otosclerosis

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Cause

When hearing loss is caused by problems with the inner ear, it’s considered sensorineural hearing loss, or nerve-related hearing impairment. This type of hearing loss may be caused by things like:

  • Loud noise exposure
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Tumors
  • Head trauma
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Aging
  • Genetic hearing impairment disorders

Treatment of Hearing Problems

When someone is experiencing hearing impairment, there are a few methods of treatment. While treatment depends on the specific condition, there are three main types of hearing impairment treatment.

Wax Removal: If earwax blockage is the main cause of hearing impairment, this is an easy fix. A doctor can loosen the wax and then remove it by flushing or suctioning it out, leaving the ear passages more open.

Surgery: For traumatic ear injuries or infections, surgery may be necessary. For injuries, surgery may be required to repair the injured part of the ear before hearing improves. And for recurrent infections, tubes may be inserted into the ears to help them drain better.

Hearing Aids: When hearing problems are due to damage to the inner ear, a hearing device, like a hearing aid, may be beneficial. Because there are so many different hearing aid styles today, there are many options for people to hear sounds stronger and with more ease.

Hearing problems are not something that should be taken lightly. Whenever someone experiences muffling of speech and sounds, difficulty understanding words, or frequently having to turn up the volume of a television or radio, they should speak to an audiologist as soon as possible. While many people experience hearing problems as they grow older, there may be more serious issues. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s essential to know what type of condition you have since there is a significant difference between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. By talking to an audiologist about your situation, you can understand which kind of hearing loss you have and get the right treatment for your condition.