This type of hearing loss is also known as nerve-related deafness. It occurs when the internal cochlear hair cells are either badly formed at birth or destroyed during an individual’s lifetime. This damage can be caused by the effects of aging, birth-related complications, viral and bacterial infections, exposure to excessive noise, a tumor in the inner ear, brain damage, and hereditary factors. Sensorineural hearing loss is manageable by the use of hearing aids. It is the most common type of hearing loss and is estimated to be responsible for almost 90% of the reported hearing loss cases.
This type occurs in the middle and outer ear, and it happens when vibrations of sound are unable to pass through the outer ear, through the eardrum or middle ear into the inner ear. The causes of conductive hearing loss include an excess buildup of wax in the ear, inflammation due to infection, a defective eardrum, or malfunction of the ossicles. For a person suffering conductive hearing loss, it is difficult to grasp soft sound, and is either treatable through a surgical procedure or pharmaceuticals and can either restore partial or full hearing, depending on the severity.
When you have a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, you are said to have mixed hearing loss. It occurs due to long term infections of the ear and occurs in both the inner and outer ear.
1Based on calculations performed by NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program staff: (1) using data from the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); (2) applying the definition of disabling hearing loss used by the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Expert Hearing Loss Team (hearing loss of 35 decibels or more in the better ear, the level at which adults could generally benefit from hearing aids).