General types of hearing loss can be described as congenital (hereditary) or acquired. A congenital hearing loss is one that is present at, or soon after birth. An acquired hearing loss occurs later in life and may be caused by factors such as work environment, other noisy places and activities or from other medical conditions. Depending on which part of the hearing system is affected, hearing loss is categorized as conductive, sensorineural or a mixture of both.
CONDUCTIVE HEARING LOSS
Conductive can range from mild to moderate in severity, most can be treated medically, and in many cases can be entirely corrected.
SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS
Most hearing loss is sensorineural, commonly caused by damage to the inner hair cells. Originating in the inner ear, referred to as sensorineural hearing loss or “never loss.” This is permanent and there is rarely any medical treatment, Hearing devices are often recommended.
MIXED HEARING LOSS
Mixed hearing loss occurs due to a combination of conductive and sensorineural components. The conductive portion of mixed hearing loss can often be medically treated, but even after successful treatment, there will still be an underlying sensorineural hearing loss which is permanent and may need amplification (hearing aid) depending on the level of severity.