There are 2 basic types of hearing loss: Conductive and Sensorineural. Please Click Free Download for more information
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss results from anything that interferes with sound getting to the inner ear. In other words, it can be caused by a blockage of the external auditory canal (the ‘ear hole’), by wax for example. It can also be caused by scarring or damage to the eardrum, and it can be caused by problems behind the eardrum (in the middle ear). Examples of such problems include middle ear fluid or infection (otitis media), and damage to the 3 tiny middle ear bones (from trauma, infection or otosclerosis).
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Semsorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensory part of the ear (the cochlea) or the hearing nerve (which carries a signal to the brain). The commonest cause of cochlear damage is the hearing loss of normal ageing (or presbycusis). We see a similar pattern of hearing loss from noise damage (including both work & recreational noise exposure). Certain drugs and infections can also damage the cochlea, and most familial hearing loss is also caused by cochlear damage. The auditory nerve is a rarer site of hearing loss, but it can result from a benign growth on the nerve, called ‘vestibular schwannoma’ (or previously ‘acoustic neuroma’).
Tinnitus is a sound that many people can hear when everything else is silent, often in bed of a morning. It is associated with hearing loss from any cause (most commonly ageing). It often sounds like cicadas or crickets in summer, a high-pitched or a hissing noise. Most people learn to ignore it, but in some cases it is very distressing. Tinnitus is mostly a benign symptom, but we always investigate it, when it is clearly coming from one ear or if it pulsates. Most people with tinnitus can be taught to ignore it with various techniques, but unfortunately the tinnitus is often permanent.