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A hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear or auditory (hearing) system is not working in the usual way. Hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by many different factors. The type of hearing loss you have depends on what part of
your hearing is damaged. There are three basic types of hearing loss:
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the actual hearing nerve itself becomes damaged. This loss generally occurs when some of the hair cells within the cochlea are damaged.
Sensorineural loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It can be a result of aging, exposure to loud noise, injury, disease, certain drugs or an inherited condition. This type of hearing loss is typically not medically or surgically treatable; however, many people with this type of loss find that hearing aids can be beneficial.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear where sound waves are not able to carry all the way through to the inner ear. Sound may be blocked by earwax or a foreign object located in the ear canal; the middle ear space may be impacted with fluid, infection or a bone abnormality; or the eardrum may have been injured. In some people, conductive hearing loss may be reversed through medical or surgical intervention. Conductive hearing loss is most common in children who may have recurrent ear infections or who insert foreign objects into their ear canal.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Sometimes people can have a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. They may have a sensorineural hearing loss and then develop a conductive component in addition.
Please note that a Hearing testing is critical for discovering exactly what type of hearing loss you have, and will help determine the hearing care solution that is right for you.
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