Types of Hearing Loss

Man Using a Beltone Hearing Aid



The causes of hearing loss vary, and the type of hearing loss is determined by the part of the ear in which impairment occurs. Our Beltone Hearing Care Professionals can help determine which treatment is appropriate for you.

There are generally four different types of hearing loss:

Conductive hearing loss
A conductive hearing loss is often temporary and can sometimes be corrected. Conductive loss stems from problems in the outer or middle ear and can be caused by:

  • Infection
  • Build-up of wax or fluid
  • Punctured eardrum
  • Otosclerosis - an abnormal bone development in the middle ear

This type of hearing loss can in many cases be treated with wax removal, medicine or surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, accounting for 90% of all adult hearing problems. It can be caused by aging and exposure to loud noise. If you have sensorineural hearing loss, you most likely notice:

  • Sounds not only diminish in volume, but become distorted
  • High pitched sounds, such as soft consonant sounds, are more difficult to hear
  • Low pitched sounds, such as vowels, are easier to hear

This type of hearing loss is caused by problems with the cochlea and the auditory nerve. It can be treated with amplification (hearing instruments) and occasionally surgery. For more information about surgical procedures, please consult a physician.

Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a hearing loss where both conductive and sensorineural losses occur at the same time.

In these cases you may need treatment such as wax removal, medication, or surgery in addition to hearing aids.

Temporary Hearing Loss
There are times where a hearing loss is temporary. A temporary hearing loss is common and can be caused by any of the following:

  • Excessive earwax
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Sinus problems
  • Certain medications

To find out if you or someone you love has a hearing loss, please contact your local Beltone Hearing Care Professional, by calling 709-726-8083 or toll free 1-800-563-8083.