Conductive hearing loss is caused by any condition or disease that blocks or impedes the conveyance of sound through the middle ear. The result is a reduction in the sound intensity (loudness) that reaches the cochlea. Generally, the cause of conductive hearing loss can be treated with a complete or partial improvement in hearing.


Sensorineural hearing loss results from inner ear or auditory nerve dysfunction. Often, the cause cannot be determined. It is typically irreversible and permanent. It, too, reduces the intensity of sound, but it might also result in a lack of clarity even when sounds, particularly speech, are loud enough. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is amplification through hearing aids.


A mixed hearing loss is a combination of a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing aids may be beneficial for persons with a mixed hearing loss, but not in all cases.

  • Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss.
  • More than half of the people with hearing loss are younger than 65.
  • Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S. Untreated hearing loss can affect your ability to understand speech and can negatively impact your social and emotional well being hearing impairment can decrease your quality of life!

Signs you may have a hearing loss:

  • Difficulty hearing people talk in noisy environments such as a restaurant, shopping mall, in a car, or at the movie theater.
  • People seem to mumble all the time.
  • Family, friends, or colleagues often have to repeat themselves when speaking with you.
  • You have trouble hearing people when they are not facing you or are in another room.
  • You have trouble following conversations.
  • You have ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in your ears.

What causes hearing loss?

  • Exposure to excessive loud noise.
  • Ear infections, trauma, or ear disease.
  • Harm of the ear from contact with a foreign object.
  • Illness or certain medications.
  • Deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process.
  • Excessive ear wax (cerumen).

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