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Types of hearing loss

What are the types of hearing loss? There are a series of different types and categories of hearing impairment.

Types of hearing loss

Sensorineural or conductive

A hearing loss can be sensorineural or it can be conductive. If it is a sensorineural hearing loss the hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. The causes of a sensorineural hearing loss can e.g. be noise, age, medication and lifestyle as well as genetic causes.  A conductive hearing loss is caused by the ability to conduct sound from the outer ear and the middle ear into the inner ear being reduced or lost.

You can also have a sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss at the same time. Then it is called a mixed hearing loss.

Special types of a sensorineural hearing loss are known as ski slope hearing loss and cookie bite hearing loss.

One or two ears

You can have hearing impairment in one ear or in both ears. If you have a hearing loss in just one ear it is called single sided deafness or unilateral hearing loss. If you have hearing loss on both ears it is called a bilateral hearing loss.

Temporary or permanent

You can have a temporary hearing loss or you can have a permanent hearing loss. A temporary hearing loss is also called a temporary threshold shift. A permanent hearing loss is called a permanent threshold shift.

Sudden hearing loss

A hearing loss can occur suddenly, and then it is called a sudden hearing loss.

Name after causes

Hearing losses can also be named by their causes. A noise-induced hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noise.  An age-related hearing loss (also called presbyacusis) is caused by ageing. And a genetic hearing loss is caused by genetic factors and gene mutations.

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