If you’re experiencing difficulty in hearing sounds, this might not be a cause for concern. However, if you’ve visited the doctor and they’ve told you that you have some level of hearing loss and you can’t remember experiencing any hearing problems, this is a cause for alarm.
Few people are aware that there are different kinds of hearing loss, and each can cause varying degrees of interference with your quality of life.
Knowing the different levels of hearing loss can help you better transition to an improved quality of life. Why not learn more about the different types of hearing loss and its degree?
In this article
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that affects the external or middle ear. It can be temporary or permanent and is usually caused by a build-up of earwax, a punctured eardrum, or other conditions.
This type of hearing loss can often be treated with a hearing aid, surgery, or antibiotics. Some of the common symptoms of conductive hearing loss include muffled hearing, decreased sound perception, and difficulty understanding speech.
Most cases of conductive hearing loss can be successfully treated with medical interventions, but some cases may require more extensive therapies. The main goal of treatment is to improve communication by restoring sound and speech clarity. Treatment options will be tailored to the individual’s individual needs and should be discussed with their doctor or audiologist.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that is caused by damage to the hair cells of the inner ear or the auditory nerve. It is the most common type of hearing loss, representing 90 percent of all hearing loss cases.
It is caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, or certain medical conditions and cannot be cured. The effects of sensorineural hearing loss are usually gradual and can range from mild to severe.
Individuals with this type of hearing loss have difficulty understanding conversations, as well as difficulty hearing certain sounds. Treatment for sensorineural hearing loss includes hearing aids that amplify sound or cochlear implants.
This is to stimulate the cochlear nerve, allowing individuals to interpret sound. It is important to seek medical assistance for this type of hearing loss, as ignoring it can lead to mental health issues and isolation. Go here for hearing aids and for a variety of options.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Blended hearing misfortune is a mix of sensorineural and conductive hearing misfortune. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain.
Conductive hearing misfortune is made by a blockage or harm to the external or center ear that keeps sound waves from being directed to the inward ear. Mixed hearing loss can be caused by an ear infection, wax build-up, or a head injury.
Symptoms of mixed hearing loss can include difficulty hearing conversations, finding it difficult to decipher between different voices, and struggling to make out high-pitched sounds. Treatment of mixed hearing loss may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, an operation to clear the blockage to the ear, and aural rehabilitation.
Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) is a rare type of hearing loss that is caused by an abnormality in the auditory nerve itself. ANSD affects the auditory nerve’s ability to process and transmit sound signals to the brain, resulting in a severe hearing deficit.
Symptoms of ANSD may include problems with speech understanding, abnormally loud sounds, or difficulty understanding sound signals in noisy environments. Treatment for ANSD includes hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, special educational services, and sound-training programs.
ANSD is considered to be more severe than other types of hearing deficits, as it causes hearing signals to be distorted as they are processed by the auditory nerve. It can also lead to difficulty understanding spoken words and distinguishing different sounds. Therefore, those with ANSD may need to rely on more specialized hearing aids to improve their hearing abilities.
The Degree of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs when there is a reduction in sound transmitted to and from the inner ear. It is graded according to severity from mild to profound and is measured in decibels (dB).
Mild hearing loss ranges from 16 to 25 dB and is when individuals have difficulty distinguishing soft sounds or may even miss some words if the environment is not ideal.
Moderate hearing loss ranges from 26 to 40 dB and is when individuals have difficulty distinguishing most sounds, difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, and, if the environment is busy, may find it hard to grasp what is being said.
Severe hearing loss ranges from 41 to 70 dB and is when individuals hear only very loud sounds. Profound hearing loss is greater than 70 dB and is when individuals may hear only very loud sounds or even not hear anything at all. If untreated, the degree of hearing loss may worsen over time, so early diagnosing and the use of hearing aids are encouraged.
Learn More About the Different Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be isolating and challenging, but with the right understanding and tools, people can lead fulfilling lives. Consider learning more about the types of hearing loss and even connecting with a local audiologist to find resources and support.
Don’t forget that taking the initiative to learn about your hearing loss can open up a world of meaningful conversations, connections, and opportunities.
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