There is a common misconception that hearing loss only impacts elderly patients, whereas the reality is that this problem can occur during any stage of life. There are three main categories of hearing loss, each of which has a different root cause, and each requires a different hearing treatment. Read on to find out more about each of these categories below.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss refers to hearing loss due to a blockage in a patient’s outer ear. These blockages can be caused by birth defects, tumor growth, allergies, or the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. Treatment options for conductive hearing loss focus on medical or surgical correction or removal of the blockage, so those who are suffering from fluid buildup may be treated using antibiotics while patients with chronic, non-infectious blockages are usually treated with surgery. Hearing aids may also be prescribed depending on the nature of the disease.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This form of hearing loss is by far the most common, occurring when the nerves of the inner ear become damaged and are no longer able to convey auditory signals to a patient’s brain. Causes include disease, viruses, exposure to excessive noise, head trauma, inner ear deformation, tumors, acute trauma to the brain, and aging. Treatment for this type of hearing loss depends on its underlying cause, so a hearing loss incurred due to head trauma or changes in air pressure may be treated with surgery whereas hearing loss caused by exposure to loud music or sound can be cured medically through the reduction of swelling and inflammation.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Patients suffering from mixed hearing loss show symptoms of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, usually involving damage to both the inner and outer ear. The type of treatment suggested for this form of hearing loss might include medications, surgery, or the prescription of a hearing aid depending on the initial source of the problem and its stage when diagnosed. Baha bone conduction is also used to help patients suffering from mixed hearing loss improve their ability to understand speech, which can have a great impact on these patients’ ability to perform normal daily tasks.