It is estimated that 31.5 million people of United States suffer from hearing loss which equates to about 10 of the population (BHI, 2010). Sudden Hearing loss affects all ages from newborns to the elderly. Three types of hearing loss exist including sensorineural, conductive, and a mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs because of dysfunction in the inner ear or auditory nerve. It can cause a decrease in loudness and distorted speech. Even with increased loudness, clarity may still be affected by a sensorineural hearing loss. Amplification through hearing aids provides the best treatment for most individuals (BHI, 2010).
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss results from a disease or medical condition of the middle ear. Sound cannot be conducted through the middle ear when blocked. It causes a decrease in intensity of sound when it reaches the inner ear. Often times conduction hearing losses can be medically treated to completely or at least partially reverse hearing loss (BHI, 2010). Amplification may still be needed in some cases.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is the combination of a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Amplification may be necessary, but the conductive portion of the hearing loss should be treated medically if possible. Click here to know how to overcome this problem.