Hearing Loss: Types and Causes
Conductive Hearing Loss
Otosclerosis, which affects the movement of small bones in the middle ear, is another cause of conductive hearing loss and can often be treated surgically. Fluid build-up caused by infection in the middle ear may be treated with antibiotics, or in some cases, surgery.
Head trauma that injures structures within the outer and middle ear may also cause conductive hearing loss. Individuals experiencing conductive hearing loss can be treated surgically or medicinally, as well as being fitted for a hearing aid.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Common causes of hearing loss include exposure to loud noises over an extended period of time (this includes everyday activities, such as using a hair dryer or lawn mower, or riding a motorcycle), as well as genetic inheritance and aging. In most cases, sensorineural hearing loss is caused by the irreversible damage to the mechanisms of the inner ear, such as hair cells and nerve cells.
In cases where individuals experience tinnitus or vertigo, as well as fluctuating hearing loss, the cause may be Meniere’s Disease. With sensorineural hearing loss, the surgical treatment of a cochlear implant or being fitted for a hearing aid will typically greatly improve hearing.