Definition of mixed hearing loss
Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). When this is the case, it is called a mixed hearing loss. In other words, with a mixed hearing loss there is at the same time damage to the outer and middle ear’s ability to conduct sound into the inner ear and the brain and damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
Causes of mixed hearing loss
There are several causes of mixed hearing loss including those for sensorineural hearing loss. These can include Illness, drugs, genetic causes, head trauma and/or malformation of the inner ear. Causes for conductive hearing loss may include earwax (cerumen), fluids in the middle ear, ear infections, perforated eardrums and/or malformation of the outer or middle ear.
Symptoms of mixed hearing loss
The symptoms of a mixed hearing loss are reduced hearing in one or both ears (bilateral mixed hearing loss).
Treatment of mixed hearing loss
A conductive hearing loss can often be corrected with medical or surgical treatment, while sensorineural hearing loss is usually treated with hearing aids. The treatment might therefore be a combination of medical or surgical treatment and the use of hearing aids. In some cases, implants or special types of hearing aids are needed when you have a mixed hearing loss.
If you think you have a mixed hearing loss you should seek medical advice.