Richmond’s Hearing Aid Specialists

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Because each type has different causes, it is important for a physician to evaluate your hearing to determine the best course of treatment. Tinnitus is a common hearing-related problem; around 25 million Americans have experienced it.

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing impairment. It occurs when the nerve endings in the inner ear or along the nerve pathways to the brain are damaged. Among the many causes are overexposure to noise, the aging process and use of certain medications. The damage can selectively affect certain frequencies, reduce speech understanding, or cause other symptoms such as tinnitus. Hearing aids are the primary treatment.

Conductive hearing loss is caused by physical obstructions or abnormalities that prevent sound waves from reaching the inner ear. It can be caused by earwax, middle ear fluid or damage to the eardrum or middle ear bones.  Sounds are muted and soft sounds are hard to hear. Conductive hearing loss can usually be corrected by an ear, nose and throat physician.

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

If you think you may have hearing loss or tinnitus, call (804) 937-EARS (3277) to schedule a hearing evaluation today.