Types of Hearing Loss and their Causes


A hearing test is the first step in figuring out if there is hearing loss present,  what kind of hearing loss a patient has and whether or not it is reversible.  If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss, book your hearing test soon.  The longer you wait, the harder it may be to treat. 

​​3. Mixed Hearing Loss​ : this type of hearing loss occurs when there is a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss present at the same time.  This type can usually be partially correctable but not completely reversible. ​

​​2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss​ : this type of hearing loss is typically permanent. It occurs when the inner ear (cochlea, balance canals or the auditory nerve) is damaged.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss Include;
  •   ageing

  •  exposure to loud noise​

  •  viral or bacterial infection

  •  medication

  •  Meniere's Disease

  •  acoustic neuroma

 1. Conductive Hearing Loss​ : this type of hearing loss is caused when sound has difficulty passing through the outer ear ( the ear canal to the eardrum) and or the middle ear( the middle ear bones, the eustachian tube and middle ear cavity).  This type may be reversible.  If you have seen an Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Practitioner and your doctor and there is no medical treatment, hearing aids may be appropriate. 

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss Include;
  • ear wax, bony growths or foreign objects in the ear canal

  • a perforated, scarred, retracted or protracted eardrum​

  • an ear infection or fluid behind the eardrum

  • injury or disease to the middle ear bones

  • a collapsed , damaged or deformed ear canal

  • eustacian tube dysfunction (the inability of the tubes to equalize pressure on either side of the eardrum

  • cholesteatoma (growth behind the eardrum)