2 Types of Hearing Loss and What They Mean for You

2 Types of Hearing Loss and What They Mean for You

People of all ages can be affected by hearing loss, and different types of hearing loss have different causes and treatments. At Jacksonville ENT Surgery in Jacksonville and Lake City, Florida, we specialize in diagnosing and treating all types of hearing loss.

Our board-certified ear-nose-throat (ENT) providers use an integrated approach, combining physical and audiological evaluations to get the bottom of your hearing loss and make personalized recommendations to restore your hearing. 

Keep reading to learn about the two most common types of hearing loss and how they affect your hearing. 

Type 1: Sensorineural hearing loss

The most common type of hearing loss, sensorineural, is a permanent form of hearing loss that develops when the stereocilia (tiny hairlike cells in your inner ear) or the auditory nerve are damaged. 

The damage interferes with the transfer of nerve signals to the brain, causing hearing loss. Some people are born with sensorineural hearing loss, but most develop it as adults due to aging (called age-related hearing loss) or exposure to loud noise. Other less common causes include:

Some people may also develop sensorineural hearing loss after having an infection.

How sensorineural hearing loss affects you

People diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss often struggle with problems related to understanding speech even when the volume is loud enough for them to hear the sound. This type of hearing loss can also make it harder to hear when there’s background noise and make being in loud places uncomfortable. 

Sensorineural hearing loss can also affect your ability to pick up higher sound frequencies. Some of the ways this might look in real life include:

There’s no cure for this type of hearing loss. But at Jacksonville ENT Surgery, our providers help patients struggling with sensorineural hearing loss by prescribing hearing aids, cochlear implants, or noise-protection molds.  

Type 2: Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is less common than sensorineural hearing loss and develops due to an obstruction or damage to the outer or middle ear. This prevents the conduction of sound to the inner ear, where it is transmitted to the brain. 

People develop conductive hearing loss for different reasons. When it occurs in the outer ear, it can be related to ear wax, swimmer’s ear, bonelike growths, or narrowing of the ear canal. When it occurs in the middle ear, it can be related to eardrum ruptures, thickening of the eardrum, chronic ear infections, abnormal growths, or bone conditions.  

How conductive hearing loss affects you

Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, in which a person can hear sound at appropriate volumes but not understand it, people with conductive hearing loss struggle with loudness, but not clarity. 

In other words, with conductive hearing loss, you might find yourself turning up the volume in order to hear. This may be all that’s needed for you to understand speech and other sounds. The symptoms of conductive hearing loss may appear as follows:

For some people with conductive hearing loss, the condition is only temporary and resolves when the obstruction or infection is addressed. For people with permanent conductive hearing loss, your Jacksonville ENT Surgery provider may recommend surgical treatment to repair the underlying issue or hearing aids to boost volume. 

Learn more about the types of hearing loss and which type could be affecting you by scheduling a consultation online or over the phone at the Jacksonville ENT Surgery office nearest you.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Do I Know If I Need Treatment for Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths in your sinuses. If you’re among the 13 million Americans with nasal polyps, chances are good you want to know when it’s time to seek medical treatment. Keep reading to learn what you need to know.

5 Types of Allergy Testing and the Right Type for You

Tired of trying different sprays, tablets, pills, or other tactics for your allergies — without finding sufficient relief? Allergy testing identifies the cause of your symptoms so you can get the treatment you need. Here’s what you need to know.

How Does Snoring Affect My Health?

Almost half of all American adults snore, and if you’re among them, you might think this nighttime noisiness isn’t cause for concern. But depending on the underlying cause, snoring can negatively affect your health. Here’s what you need to know.

All About Minimally Invasive In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty

If you’re battling sinus troubles like a chronic stuffy or runny nose, bad breath, sinus pain, or inability to breathe through your nose, a nonsurgical balloon sinuplasty could be the solution you need. Here’s what you should know.

When (and Why) to Consider Ear Tubes for Your Child

Over a half million children get ear tubes placed each year. But not every child who gets ear infections is a candidate for this procedure. Here’s a look at when and why you might consider them for your child.

Is Tinnitus Curable?

Are you or a loved one hearing sounds that no one else seems to hear? You’re not alone. Tinnitus affects about 50 million Americans. Here’s a closer look at the condition and how we can help.