Types of Hearing Loss

There are many causes for hearing loss and can be divided into 3 types namely, conductive loss, sensorineural loss and mixed loss depending on the location of the pathology. 

Click to view Howcast video on Types of Hearing Loss

1. Conductive Hearing 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 include

  • Wax blockage in the outer ear
  • Glue ear
  • Eardrum damage such as a hole or rupture
  • Infection
  • Ossicle damage

2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss indicates that the cause of the hearing loss is in the cochlea or the auditory nerve that connects the cochlea to the auditory centres of the brain.  Some common causes include

  • Ageing (most common cause)
  • Hereditary or congenital
  • Damage to the cochlear hair cells due to exposure to repetitive loud noises
  • Medication toxicity
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Viral infections
  • Chronic bacterial infections

3. Mixed Hearing Loss is when there is a combination of a conductive loss and sensorineural loss existing together.


Some of these causes can be treated either by medication or surgery.  EARLY INTERVENTION is crucial for whichever form of hearing loss (especially the sensorineural type).  However, if the hearing loss is permanent, you may need other forms of management such as using hearing devices.

Discuss with your audiologist or ENT surgeon about your treatment options

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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