As practicing audiologists, we understand that being diagnosed with hearing loss can be overwhelming and worrying, especially when you don’t have enough information about what kind of hearing loss you have.
It can be worrisome to be diagnosed with hearing loss, but understanding the type of hearing loss you have will make it easier to find the right treatment and improve your quality of life.
Three Main Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is categorized into three main types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Each type of hearing loss has its causes, symptoms, and intervention methods, so it’s important to know which type you have to receive the most appropriate care.
Conductive Hearing Loss
If you have conductive hearing loss, it means that the sound waves cannot reach your inner ear because of a blockage or damage to the middle or outer ear. Conductive hearing loss is typically caused by ear infections, blockages (earwax or fluid buildup), or damage to the small bones in the middle ear. Individuals with conductive hearing loss may struggle to hear soft sounds or speech but can hear louder sounds normally.
Conductive hearing loss treatments often involve medical intervention such as antibiotics for ear infections or surgical procedures to repair any damage or abnormality to the ear. Hearing aids may also be recommended to help amplify sounds and improve hearing.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
If you are diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss, it means that you have incurred damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways responsible for transmitting sound to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss can be attributed to aging, exposure to loud noise, and some ototoxic medications. Individuals with sensorineural hearing loss may experience difficulty hearing both soft and loud sounds and may struggle to understand speech, especially in background noise.
Sensorineural hearing loss is often addressed with hearing aids, cochlear implants, or assistive listening devices.
In some cases, counseling or therapy may be helpful to facilitate adjustment to the changes in hearing and communication.
Mixed Hearing Loss
As the name suggests, mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Treatment for mixed hearing loss may involve a combination of medical intervention, and hearing aids or cochlear implants to help improve hearing.
Why It’s Important to Know Your Type of Hearing Loss
Knowing the type of hearing loss is critical to finding the appropriate treatment and improving your overall quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, social isolation, depression, anxiety, and other health problems.
When you consult an audiologist, you will undergo a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the type and degree of hearing loss you have. This evaluation will include a battery of tests to measure your ability to hear different volumes and frequencies. You may also be given some speech recognition tests as needed.
Once the type of hearing loss is identified, your audiologist will develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique hearing needs and lifestyle. Treatment plans for hearing loss may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, communication and speech therapy, or medical intervention (surgery or cochlear implants).
By identifying the type of hearing loss you have, it is also easier for you to take steps to protect your hearing and prevent further deterioration. This may include wearing hearing protection in noisy environments, avoiding or limiting exposure to loud noises, and getting regular hearing tests to monitor your hearing.
Audiologists in Lawrenceville, NJ
Hearing loss can be overwhelming, but knowing and understanding the type of hearing loss you have plays a huge role in helping you find the right treatment and improving your overall quality of life.
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, we encourage you to work with an audiologist that you are comfortable with so you can receive the best help you need. With the right care and support from an audiologist, you can enjoy better hearing and an improved quality of life.
Oracle Hearing Center can connect you with expert audiologists in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Contact us today to book an appointment!