Which of the 4 main types of hearing loss apply to you?

Book an Appointment

Did you know “there are more than 11 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, or one in six of the population… and this is expected to increase.” – Action on Hearing Loss.

If you’re one of them you’ll realise how distressing it is for anyone who suffers from hearing loss, whether it’s a temporary issue or a permanent one.

The different types of hearing loss are:

  1. Auditory processing disorders
  2. Conductive
  3. Sensorineural
  4. Mixed

Each of the above brings with it a unique range of issues that need to be dealt with. Understanding these different conditions is key to learning to live with impaired hearing. 

Auditory processing disorders

As the name suggests, this is an issue with the brain processing the information that it receives. Understanding what people are saying to the individual can be a major problem, and it can even be difficult to interpret where noises are coming from. “Auditory processing disorders affect around 5% of school children in the UK” – Kids Health.

Following a diagnosis there are a number of treatment options to help sufferers manage the condition. These include auditory training therapy and the use of devices such as a speaker or radio receiver that help you hear over background noise.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is a result of problems with the outer or middle ear not passing clear sound to the inner ear. It can be caused by a build-up of wax (easily treated by micro suction or irrigation) or an infection in the ear (also easily treated with a visit to your GP). In more serious instances it can be due to issues such as a punctured eardrum or abnormal bone growth in the middle ear which will require specialist treatment.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Damage to the cochlea or the auditory nerves, or sometimes both, can lead to sensorineural hearing loss. Unfortunately this is a condition that is usually permanent, but effective treatments can include cochlear implants and high quality hearing aids. The causes of sensorineural hearing loss could be exposure to loud noises, the ageing process and certain medications. The condition can also be genetic.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is simply a combination of both sensorineural and conductive conditions, the latter of which are treatable and the former permanent. The form of treatment needed for all types of hearing loss will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual needs of the patient.

There are a number of ways to make life easier for those suffering from hearing loss of any type. They include:

  • Digital hearing aids
  • Wax removal
  • Bone-anchored implants
  • Middle ear implants
  • Cochlear implants
  • Lip reading and sign language

To ascertain the type and severity of hearing loss, a hearing test should be conducted by trained professionals. Once the test has taken place, targeted treatment can then be prescribed.

We are a network of independent hearing specialists based here in the South East of England. We go the extra mile to ensure a holistic solution for you.

Book a Free Hearing Check

Reference list:

Action on Hearing Loss

Kids Health