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Sensorineural hearing loss is due to problems within the inner ear or hearing nerve and gets worse over time. Although many times people will be able to hear, they don’t always understand what people are saying. The most probable causes are aging, exposure to loud noises, head trauma, family background, malformation of the inner ear, tumor’s and viruses or other diseases. Meningitis can also cause sensorineural hearing loss. Depending on the amount of hearing loss it is usually treated with hearing aids or if hearing aids are of no use, a severe loss may be treated with a cochlear implant.
Conductive hearing loss is due to problems with the outer ear and/or middle ear and is usually caused by blockages in the ear canal or middle ear infections. Other factors can be a perforated ear drum, poor Eustachian tube function, problems within the middle ear which affects the normal function of the middle ear bones or benign tumor’s. Depending on the amount of hearing loss it may be treated with medication, surgery or hearing aids.
Mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of sensorineural and conductive loss and means that the damage is in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear. The causes may be a combination of causes from the above two and treatment may be through medication, hearing aids or surgery.
Central auditory hearing loss occurs when issues in the central nervous system cause processing of auditory stimulus to breakdown thus causing an auditory processing disorder. People suffering from this may hear but may have difficulty understanding or processing the sound that was heard. Special rehabilitative measures can be taken to improve auditory capability.