Skip to main content

Types ofhearing loss

There are many different types of hearing loss, and only a professional will be able to identify what type of hearing loss you or a loved one may have.

This is a brief overview of the types of hearing loss. 
Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is one of the most common types of hearing loss and it takes place in the outer or middle ear.  It often results from a blockage to the ear that makes it harder for sound to reach the brain. Some possible causes are: 

  • Swimmers ear.
  • Excess wax in the outer ear.
  • Sudden holes in the eardrum from a loud noise.
The good news is, conductive hearing loss is usually medically treatable and sometimes entirely curable. 
Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss takes place when there is damage to the inner ear. Typically, the tiny hairs in the inner ear that conduct sound in the cochlea are damaged.  However, it may also be caused by damage to the nerves that take sound to the brain. 

Some possible causes:

  • Aging
  • Genetic factors
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Repeated exposure to loud noise
A person with sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with technology that improves the ability to hear, like hearing aids.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the other two types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural. 

While the conductive part of the hearing loss may be treatable medically, the sensorineural part will usually require amplification technology. 
Find a hearing care professional

Do you suspect you have hearing loss? 

Only a hearing care professional will be able to say for sure what type you may have.