The Different Types of Hearing Loss and How to treat them

The Different Types of Hearing Loss and How to treat them


The ear is made of three very important parts; which consists of the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. Each part plays an important role in hearing. The outer ear is responsible for collecting sound from our surroundings, which then transmits the sound down the ear canal until it reaches the eardrum (which is known as the tympanic membrane).


Sound is transmitted as waves; the waves then reach the eardrum, sending vibrations through the eardrum. The vibrations flow straight into the middle of the ear. The middle ears main function is to transport the sound from the outer ear into the inner ear.  The waves inside the ear reaches the corti (also known as cell hairs), the corti is what maintains balance and equilibrium of the waves in your ear. These waves are transmitted to the brain and this is where it is detected as sound.


Hearing is one of the five senses, though it is unfortunate that some individuals lose this sense. 360 million people suffer from different types of hearing loss in the world. There are two main types, and these are Sensorineural, conductive but you can find a person that suffers from both of these; this type is known as ‘mixed hearing loss’.



There are 2 main types of hearing loss:

  1. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL)

This type of hearing loss has to do with the damage caused to the inner ear, or more specifically the hair cells in the cochlea. SNHL affects the ear from hearing sounds clearly; a person suffering from this will not be able to hear low frequency sounds, and speech will be unclear. Damages to the cochlea can occur when one ages, however there are other causes as well:

  • Sickness
  • An accident that may cause head injury
  • Listening to extremely loud music
  • The intake of drugs
  • If you inherited it from family genes


SNHL Treatment:

People who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss cannot regain their hearing. There are three possible ways that may help one that is suffering from SNHL;


1.1 Pharmacological: requires the intake of medication, but this has not been clinically proven.


1.2 Surgical: Cochlear implants can improve the inner ear damage, but again this is a chance with low probability.


1.3 Management: It is possible for some people to hear well with the sensorineural hearing aid.

  • Conductive Hearing Loss 


Conductive Hearing Loss is the result of a blockage in the outer or middle part of the ear. This is caused by wax build up and a malfunction or uncommon ear structure. This type of hearing loss can be temporary or permanently, depending on the amount of damage to the ear.


Other causes:

  • Foreign object in the ear
  • An accident
  • Allergies
  • An ear infection


Treatments: Conductive hearing loss can in most cases be medicated with antibiotics or antifungal medication, but there may be a few cases where one may need a minor surgery depending on the damage to the ear.



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