Understanding Hearing Loss
There are three main types of hearing loss. These are conductive, sensorineural or mixed, the latter being a combination of the first two.
Conductive hearing losses are often seen in children with “glue ear” which can resolve spontaneously or may require surgical intervention to drain the fluid and aerate the middle ear space. In adults conductive hearing loss can result from infection, ear drum perforation or other middle ear diseases such as otosclerosis.
Sensorineural hearing loss may be congenital and is usually due to genetic errors that lead to problems in ear structure or biochemical processes in the Cochlea. The most common form of hearing loss is presbycusis attributed to the ageing process. Noise exposure is playing less of a problem now that we have stronger safeguards in our work and social noise environments.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss where, for example aged related deafness combines with a long-standing ear drum perforation.