Four Types of Hearing Loss
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 48 million Americans have hearing loss. Although age-related loss is common, children and young adults are also affected. Age is just one factor we consider when diagnosing hearing loss. It’s also important for us to know:
- When did it start?
- Is it a temporary or permanent type of loss?
- What part of the ear is involved?
If you’re concerned about your hearing, having a hearing test is the first step towards some relief. Diagnosing the type of hearing loss helps us determine the best way to treat it and how to prevent further loss. There are four main types of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural is the most common type. It’s a gradual loss caused by damage to the cells and/or nerves in the ear.
- Conductive is when sound waves can’t reach the inner ear. It can be caused by infection, trauma to the ear, or a blockage. Conductive hearing loss can often be reversed, or partially reversed, with the right treatment.
- Congenital is hearing loss that a person is born with. There are many different causes, including genetic factors, infections, or premature birth. It’s important to diagnose hearing loss in newborns because it can affect their development.
- Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the other types. For example, a person could have sensorineural loss and also have an infection in the inner ear (conductive).
Ways to describe hearing loss
We might also describe hearing loss based on certain characteristics:
- Unilateral or Bilateral – The hearing loss is in one ear (unilateral), or both ears (bilateral).
- Pre- or Post-lingual – If the hearing loss started before (pre) or after (post) learning to talk.
- Symmetrical or Asymmetrical – If the loss is the same (symmetrical) or different (asymmetrical) in both ears.
- Progressive or Sudden – If it happened over time (progressive) or if it was a sudden loss of hearing.
- Stable or Fluctuating– Hearing loss that stays the same (stable) or that changes frequently, getting better or worse (fluctuating).
Don’t let hearing loss slow you down
Hearing loss can affect your relationships, your social life, and your everyday enjoyment of the little things. At CCMC Hearing Care, we’ll diagnose your hearing and help you understand your type of hearing loss, the causes, treatment options, and steps you can take to improve your quality of life. We want you to hear what you’ve been missing!
If you think you need a hearing test, contact us today or give us a call at one of our convenient locations to schedule an appointment:
St. Johns — (989) 796-4555 — Monday, Thursday, and Friday (inside Clinton County Medical Center Psychological Services)
Alma — (989) 292-3572 — Tuesday and Wednesday (inside Gratiot Psychological Services)
Schedule your appointment today! You should hear what you’ve been missing!