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Types of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage within the inner ear and/or along the auditory nerve. The intensity of the input signal and speech understanding becomes reduced. Usually this type of hearing loss cannot be medically corrected. Some causes of sensorineural hearing loss include noise exposure, viral infections, the aging process, and ototoxic drugs.

Conductive hearing loss is due to a pathology in the middle or outer ear that dampens the intensity of the acoustic signal from reaching the normal inner ear at the presented level. Some causes of conductive hearing loss include impacted wax, atresia of the ear canal, middle ear infection/fluid, and perforation of the ear drum.

Mixed hearing loss is due to the combination of damage to the inner ear and/or auditory nerve, as well as a pathology within the middle or outer ear.  An example of this would be an individual having hearing loss caused by age and a middle ear infection.


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