What Are The Different Types Of Hearing Loss?

Audiologist in Coral SpringsNoticing one of your senses diminish is a scary experience. Fortunately, problems with your hearing are not always permanent. If you ever experience impaired hearing, we recommend that you immediately see an ear, nose, throat specialist, also known as an audiologist in Coral Springs. There is a staggering amount of possible illnesses and other causes behind hearing loss. Additionally, you sometimes risk permanent or severe hearing loss by ignoring your symptoms.

An Audiologist in Coral Springs Explains Hearing Loss Types

Here are the three different types of hearing loss to be aware of that a specialist could diagnose you with:

Conductive Hearing Loss

A diagnosis of conductive hearing loss means that sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and ossicles of the middle ear, as explained by The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida). If you have conductive hearing loss, your sound level may have declined. You may also be unable to hear faint sounds. Conductive hearing loss can be fixed surgically or medically.

Seemingly minor ailments like colds, allergies, impacted earwax, and ear infections can cause conductive hearing loss. Other possible causes of conductive hearing loss include poor eustachian tube function, swimmer’s ear, benign tumors, perforated eardrum, infection in the ear canal, presence of a foreign body, and absence or malformation of the middle ear, ear canal, or outer ear.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The most common type of permanent hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss. It is characterized by damage to the inner ear or nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Those who have sensorineural hearing loss have a decreased ability to hear faint sounds and regular speech sounds muffled or unclear. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are exposure to loud noise, genetics, aging, illnesses, drugs, malformation of the inner ear, and head trauma.

Mixed Hearing Loss

A combination of sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss is called mixed hearing loss. For example, you may have damage to the inner and outer ear that causes both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It can be complicated sometimes if you suffer from mixed hearing loss, but The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) are well-trained to detect the nuances.

Other Terminology You’ll Hear an Audiologist Say

Additional terms that are used to describe hearing loss are bilateral, unilateral, symmetrical, asymmetrical, progressive, sudden, fluctuating, and stable. You will likely hear these terms used if you go to an audiologist in Coral Springs. Bilateral hearing loss simply means that both ears are affected. With unilateral hearing loss, only one ear is impacted.

Symmetrical and asymmetrical refer to the degree and configuration of hearing loss. If the degree and configuration of hearing loss are the same in each ear, an audiologist in Coral Springs will call it symmetrical. If the degree and/or configuration are different in each ear, then we refer to it as asymmetrical hearing loss.

Progressive seems like it would have a positive meaning, but it actually means your hearing loss worsens over time. Just as its name suggests, sudden hearing loss occurs abruptly, often without warning. We urge you to see a specialist if you experience sudden hearing loss in order to quickly diagnose and treat it before it potentially becomes worse.

Hearing loss that sometimes gets better and sometimes worsens is referred to as fluctuating. In contrast, hearing loss that stays the same is called stable hearing loss.

Now that you have an understanding of the basic terminology used when determining what kind of hearing loss you have, you’ll pick up on the information you’re being told faster. There are three general types of hearing loss, but the specifics surrounding that hearing loss can further be specified through additional terms like those listed above.
If you need to schedule an appointment with one of our esteemed audiologist, please contact us today.

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