Having hearing loss can be scary. But don't worry! The first step is to work out what type of hearing loss you have.

Below is a brief guide of the three major types of hearing loss: 

  • conductive hearing loss;
  • sensorineural hearing loss;
  • mixed hearing loss. 
Conductive Hearing Loss

What is it?

Conductive hearing loss is caused by damage to the outer or middle ear (or both) which prevents sound travelling to the inner ear.

Common causes:

  • Build-up of earwax
  • Burst ear drum
  • Ear infections
  • Build-up of fluid – can be caused by colds
  • Abnormal bone growth – e.g. otosclerosis

What to do

Conductive hearing loss can be permanent or temporary, and there are various methods that can be used as treatment:

  • Surgery or medical treatment
  • Bone conduction hearing aids
  • Middle ear implants

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

What is it?

Sensorineural hearing loss is related to inner ear function and is caused by problems with the cochlear or auditory nerve. It is a very common form of permanent hearing loss.

Common Causes:

  • Aging
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Meningitis
  • Head injuries
  • Certain ‘ototoxic’ drugs, for example: platinum-based chemotherapy medications and some antibiotics (gentamicin)
  • Tumours

What to do

Although sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, there are treatments that help to restore hearing:

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants

Mixed Hearing Loss

What is it?

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Accordingly, the common symptoms and treatment methods are a combination of those listed above.

If you are concerned about you hearing loss, book in to see an experienced audiologist today. 

It is our job to guide you through the different types of hearing loss, and how they can be treated. We want you to know all the options - so you can make an informed decision on the best treatment for you and your budget. 

We want you to know all the options - so you can make an informed decision on the best treatment for you and your budget.