Types of Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

This occurs when the external and middle ear can no longer conduct sound into the inner ear. One of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is blockage in the external ear canal, typically caused by earwax build-up or infection. Most cases are temporary and can be corrected with proper medical treatment.

Sensor neural Hearing Loss

Often successfully treated with hearing aids, this type of hearing loss may result from:

  • damage to the sensory cells or nerve fibres of the inner ear
  • exposure to diseases like mumps, meningitis, multiple sclerosis or acute Grave's Disease
  • use of certain drugs like aspirin, cisplatin, quinine or the antibiotics streptomycin and gentamicin
  • your mother contracting rubella (German measles) during pregnancy
  • low birth weight
  • genetics
  • head or ear injuries

Mixed Hearing Loss

This is a combination of conductive and sensor neural hearing loss. This type of loss may be successfully treated with a combination of medical assistance and use of a hearing device.

Hearing loss affects everyone differently, and it varies by degree from person to person.

The medical community recognizes four levels of hearing loss:


Soft sounds are hard to hear. Understanding speech clearly in noisy environments may be challenging.


Soft and moderately loud sounds are hard to hear. It's often difficult to understand speech, especially when there's background noise.


Some loud sounds are audible, but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.


Some extremely loud sounds are audible. Communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
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