Types of hearing loss

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Are there different types of hearing loss?

There are three types of hearing loss including: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Most people lose at least some degree of their hearing as they age, and by the time they reach age 65 and older, one in three people has some type of hearing impairment.

Sensorineural hearing loss
The most common type of hearing loss, it occurs when inner ear nerves are damaged and do not properly transmit sound signals to the brain. It is the most common type of hearing loss caused by the withering of the hair cells in the inner ear due to age, noise damage or medications. Without healthy hair cells the ear cannot detect sounds properly.

Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear, which prevent sound from entering the middle ear. Voices and sounds may sound faint, distorted or both. Most conductive hearing loss cases can be treated medically or surgically.

Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

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