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Types of Hearing Problems

Because hearing involves so many specific parts, there are many things that can go wrong. Different parts of the hearing chain can break down, leaving you unable to process or hear certain sounds. Loud noises, old age, and even brain injury can result in a loss of hearing.

These losses can be mild, or seriously profound. There are many types of hearing problems, and functional hearing loss exists as well. These are instances where your hearing is not completely gone but hindered in some way by an ongoing issue. Many forms of hearing loss are permanent, while others can be solved with medical intervention. Inventions like hearing aids can alleviate hearing loss as well.

In order to discuss the treatment of hearing loss, let’s explore the different types of hearing problems.

Auditory neuropathy. A condition in which the auditory nerve is affected. This can be caused by a number of factors and affect the hearing in varying ways. This is an issue with the brain and nerves, not the ears themselves.

Sensorineural hearing loss. This is an issue with the fine hairs inside the cochlea. As they become worn down or damaged, the ability to hear is impacted. This is the most common form of hearing loss, especially among seniors and people in high-noise environments.

Conductive hearing loss. This occurs when there is a blockage within the middle ear. This blockage can be caused by fluid, a tumor, or earwax muffling the transmission of sound waves from the outer ear. Usually, the issue is solved after the blockage is removed.

Mixed hearing loss. This isn’t necessarily a type of hearing loss, but a combination of sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. Where sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, the conductive hearing loss can be solved, alleviating the condition.

Tinnitus. This is not a condition, but rather a symptom of another issue. Tinnitus is caused by other factors, usually sensorineural hearing loss. In order to treat the tinnitus, you need to treat the root issue.

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