When most of us think about hearing loss, we think of it as a natural issue that develops with age. The truth is that hearing loss can affect people of all ages, and it has many different causes. While aging is a prominent one, physical damage to the ear or eardrum can cause hearing damage. By understanding the different hearing impairment types that can occur, one can better understand what types of hearing loss can be reversed.
The Three Categories Of Hearing Loss
Audiologists classify hearing loss into one of three different categories. These include:
- Conductive Hearing Loss – Conductive hearing issues are a result of a middle or outer ear problem. Some likely culprits are bone abnormalities, eardrum damage, or blockage. Since the middle and outer ear is less complex than the inner ear, these conditions are simple to treat and have a high likelihood of damage reversal.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Sensorineural hearing issues tend to be the most commonly experienced and result from unnecessary damage to the auditory nerve located in the inner ear. This area of the ear is very complex and delicate, making it more difficult to treat. In general, sensorineural hearing loss usually can’t be reversed. It’s caused by genetics, loud noises, diseases, and the natural process of aging.
- Mixed Hearing Loss – As you’ve probably guessed by now, mixed hearing loss is when a person experiences both conductive and sensorineural hearing problems.
Reversing Hearing Loss
As you’ve learned above, conductive hearing loss can typically be reversed. Most patients can be treated with a non-invasive procedure to remedy the issue. For example, they may undergo an ear cleaning to remove the unwanted blockage of ear wax or something similar. Those with sensorineural hearing loss will be treated with hearing aids. These individuals will always need to rely on hearing devices to regain their sense of hearing as there is no permanent fix for sensorineural hearing loss.
A Touch On Tinnitus
Some individuals who experience hearing loss may also experience the symptom of tinnitus. This is defined as a constant ringing noise in the ears. Some may describe the noise as buzzing, chirping, whistling, or even hissing. For some individuals, this symptom may be continuous throughout the day, and for others, it may be intermittent. When it comes to treating tinnitus, hearing care professionals can use non-invasive procedures. One of the most popular is sound therapy treatment.
Call Us Today
If you’re experiencing hearing problems, then it’s time to give our office a call. Our knowledgeable staff will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your hearing loss and recommend treatments to get your hearing level back to normal.