Hearing loss also takes many forms. To describe every type of hearing loss and their causes would be impossible within the context of this article. Instead, we will focus on the more common types of hearing loss and some common causes. Normally, hearing loss is divided into conductive loss, sensorineural loss and mixed loss. These descriptions are based on where the problem that caused the hearing loss is present.



Image source: Getty Images

1. Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive loss would mean that the cause of the hearing loss is present in the outer ear canal or the middle ear which are considered the conductive pathway for sound into the ears. Some common causes would be wax blockage in the outer ear, middle ear infections and hole on the eardrums.

Please refer to Figure 1 below for anatomy of the ear.



Image source: Earlens

2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss indicates that the cause of the hearing loss is in the cochlear or the auditory nerve that connects the cochlear to the auditory centres of the brain. Some common causes would include damage to the cochlear hair cells due to noise, aging or infection; Meniere’s disease (increase of fluid levels in the cochlear) and acoustic neuroma (cancer on the auditory nerve).

Please refer to Figure 1 below  for anatomy of the ear.

3. Mixed Hearing Loss

A mixed loss is a combination of a conductive loss and sensorineural loss existing together. Some of these causes can be cured especially conductive loss either by medication or surgery. However, some are permanent and need other management.

Figure 1:


Next up on Teleme’s blog, Causes and Treatment of Hearing Loss.

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Dr. Shailendra Sivalingam

Dr. Shailendra Sivalingam

Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeon


Mr. Saravanan Selanduray

Mr. Saravanan Selanduray



Ms. Alleya Cheng

Ms. Alleya Cheng