As you know I have written several articles on hearing loss or ear safety recently. Most of these articles are related to shooting or hunting. I went to deep research on it and tried to figure out how many types of hearing problems are out there.
So, I think it’s worth writing a complete article discussing all the types of hearing impairment. I believe you will find it useful. When you are finished reading this article, you will learn what are the causes of such hearing problems and when to seek medical help.
4 Types of Hearing Problems
So far there are four (4) types of hearing trouble that common like sensorineural, conductive, auditory processing disorders, and mixed. I will briefly explain them all including their symptoms and probable causes.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Among the 4, this is the most common type of hearing loss. It happens when the hearing nerve is completely malfunctioning and can’t send the information to the brain. This situation is almost permanent and it mainly happens due to the natural age.
Not just the elderly, it can happen to the children as well. But if that happens to the children, this is mainly due to the genetic syndrome. It happens to the elderly because of the following reasons:
- Natural aging, also known as presbycusis.
- Effect of certain medicines.
- Long-term exposure to loud noise.
- Effect of infections from measles, mumps, and others.
- Sudden extremely loud noise and regular exposure to such noises like going to shooting/hunting without wearing any ear protection for shooting/hunting.
So, how do you know you are a victim of sensorineural hearing loss? Look out for the following symptoms:
- Any sound may seem to too quiet or too loud.
- Constant ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus.
- Having trouble to understand the voice of women and children.
- Facing problem to hear others in a noisy environment like in the train station.
As I said above, this problem is almost permanent and there are very few medical treatments. However, using a hearing aid or Cochlear Implants can be useful to reduce the impact of this problem.
Also, when there is a chance of loud noise that you may have to expose yourself, wear any hearing protection against such loud noise.
- Auditory Processing Disorders
It’s the problem of the brain and this disorder happens when your brain can’t process the information from the sound and don’t understand where this sound is coming from.
- Conductive Hearing Loss
There are several parts of the ear like outer parts, middle parts, and inner parts. If there are problems in the outer or middle parts of your ears, sounds can’t reach to the inner ear. This problem is known as a conductive hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss may be permanent or temporary depending on which part of the ear is affected. If the outer ear is affected, then it may be the result of the following:
- Block from the earwax.
- Narrow ear canal.
- Foreign objects inserted into the ear.
- And several other reasons like exostoses, otitis, etc.
If the problem/infection is in the middle ear, then the probable causes may be any of the following (not limited to):
- Fluid buildup in the middle ear.
- A severe breach in the tympanic membrane due to an ear infection or severe injury.
- And several other medical reasons.
Early detection plays a great role in the treatment of conductive hearing loss. So, how do you detect it? If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical help:
- Foul odor coming out of the ear canal.
- Severe pain in one or both of the ears.
- Your own voice may seem too high to yourself.
- Feelings of extreme pressure in one/both of the ears.
There are medical treatments that can help to solve the conductive hearing loss problem. Only a registered doctor in this particular field can help to remove the earwax or any foreign objects that are causing the problem.
- Mixed Hearing Loss
It’s basically the combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Let’s say you are suffering from the conductive hearing loss for a long period of time, you may fall a victim of presbycusis as you age too.
As the symptoms of the mixed hearing loss, you may experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
The treatment for the mixed hearing loss depends on whether sensorineural or conductive hearing loss is more acute. If the later one is more acute then some surgical or medical procedure may help the situation. Otherwise, you may find it really difficult to fully treat your sensorineural problem.
Wrapping It Up
Hearing loss is no fun no matter what type of hearing loss you have. Don’t try to fix it up yourself. Visit any registered doctor having expertise in this field. Some form of hearing losses is unavoidable but we can take preventive measures to avoid other forms.