Conductive Hearing Loss
Any problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from being conducted properly is known as a conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing losses are usually mild or moderate in degree, ranging from 10 to 70 decibels.
In some cases, a conductive hearing loss may be temporary. Depending on the specific cause of the problem, medication or surgery can help. A conductive hearing loss may also be helped with hearing aids or a middle ear implant.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the result of missing or damaged sensory cells (hair cells) in the cochlea. This type of hearing loss is often permanent. Also known as “nerve deafness”, sensorineural hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe or profound.
Mild to severe sensorineural hearing loss can usually be helped with hearing aids or a middle ear implant. Severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss can usually be helped with a cochlear implant.
Mixed Hearing Loss
A mixed hearing loss is a combination of a sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It results from problems in both the inner and middle ear. Treatment options may include medication, surgery, hearing aids or a middle ear implant.
Neural Hearing Loss
A problem that results in the absence of or damage to the auditory nerve can cause a neural hearing loss. Neural hearing loss is a profound hearing loss and is permanent.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants cannot help, because the nerve is not able to pass on sound information to the brain. In some cases, an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) may help.