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Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss or deafness is a very important public health issue worldwide. And although it is the third most common physical condition in the United States (after arthritis and heart disease), its treatment is commonly overlooked, with affected patients waiting an average of 7-10 years after the initial hearing loss begins before starting to use some form of hearing aid.

By that time, it can already be too late. The fact is that hearing loss can affect almost every aspect of your life. It can lead to problems at work or school, emotional distress, it can even affect your social skills, etc. Therefore, determining if what you experience is some form of hearing loss at an early stage can help you prevent further loss of hearing.

The first steps are to identify the symptoms, diagnose the cause and identify the best solution for your type of hearing loss. To help recognize some of the symptoms, take a look at this article. There are a wide variety of reasons as to why hearing loss can take place: continuous exposure to loud noises, medicine reactions, the aging process, different kinds of diseases, head traumas and genetic inheritance are among the primary causes.

However, identifying the type of hearing impairment is the most important factor for determining what kind of treatment should be applied. Not all forms of hearing loss can be corrected in the same way. For example, some of them require the use of hearing aids and alternative listening devices, others, do not.

And while we will give you a brief description of the different types of hearing loss, only an audiologist can diagnose properly. Dr. Joseph K. Durán from New Generation Hearing Centers can provide more information and a diagnosis if you feel you may be suffering from hearing loss. That said, the four types of hearing loss are the following:

  • Auditory Processing Disorders: This type of impairment encompasses a variety of hearing disorders that are the result of a brain malfunction regarding its hearing and listening processing abilities. To put it simple, it is diagnosed when the brain has difficulties in analyzing the information contained in sound.
  • Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss takes place when there is a problem with the way sound travels from the outer ear to the eardrum and the ossicles located in the middle ear. In other words, this occurs when sounds are not being efficiently conducted through the auditory system.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: This form of impairment takes place when there is some sort of damage or malfunction in either the inner ear (the cochlea) or the nervous pathway that goes from the inner ear to the brain. Consequently, electrical information is unable to travel from the ear to the brain and the latter cannot process it properly. Unfortunately, this type of hearing loss is permanent most of the time.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss: As its name indicates, this form of deafness occurs when there is a combination of the types explained above. It particularly refers to the combination of a conductive form of hearing loss and a sensorineural loss. For example, a person might suffer from an age-related loss and also have an ear infection. While the latter can be treated, the first one is permanent.

Contact Dr. Joseph K. Durán from New Generation Hearing Centers and rest assured that Dr. Durán and his team will help you find the best solution to your hearing problem.