For A Better Tomorrow 

Once you are aware that you have a hearing loss, you will want to learn more about it. There are two major types of hearing loss – Conductive and sensorineural. Although sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of loss, especially in older people, you should seek a proper diagnosis from an appropriate hearing health care provider.


Conductive hearing loss is caused by a blockage, usually in the middle ear, that prevents sound from being conducted to the middle ear.

The blockage can be caused by wax build up, an ear infection, fusion of the bones in the middle ear, a punctured eardrum, or tumors. Sounds seem soft but speech is clear as long as it is loud enough. Hearing aids can be very beneficial to people with a conductive loss.

This type of hearing loss also often responds to medical or surgical  treatment, but only if the auditory nerve and inner ear are functioning well.

Father with partially deaf daughter



Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear. The most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is aging, although high fevers, ototoxic drugs, and noise are other causes.

If you have this type of hearing loss, you have trouble hearing in crowded rooms and while watching tv,as well as difficulty understanding conversation. Also called ‘Nerve deafness,’ this type of hearing loss usually is not caused by damage to the auditory nerve but in the hair cells in the inner ear.

Individual hair cells respond, or are “tuned,” to specific sounds. Some may be so severely damaged that they cannot react when sound from the outside strikes them.

At the time, the hair cells for certain speech sounds may be functioning normally. This causes you to miss parts of words and sentences.

Sensorineural loss is rarely correctable medically or surgically; however, in the great majority of cases, properly fitted hearing aids and assistive devices can help you hear better.


This involves both conductive and sensorineural components. Medical or surgical intervention may help the conductive portion and a hearing aid can help both the sensorineural loss and the conductive component. Here are some causes of hearing loss.


Other conditions often associated with hearing loss follow…


Tinnitus is the name for a ringing in the ears or other head noises, a common disorder experienced by nearly 50 million Americans.

Tinnitus, which almost always accompanies a hearing loss, can also affect people with normal hearing.

Meniere’s Disease

One of the more common causes of dizziness (vertigo) is Meniere’s disease. The symptoms also include tinnitus, hearing fluctuation, and hearing loss. its cause is unknown but probably results from abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear.

Currently, no known cure for Meniere’s disease is available; however, medications can be prescribed for acute attacks, and symptoms may be prevented or somewhat reduced with certain medications.

This can be accomplished by adopting a low-sodium diet, avoiding caffeine and avoiding alcohol, stopping smoking, avoiding noisy and stressful situations, and using exercise to reduce stress and improve circulation.

Sometimes surgery is recommended to relieve acute recurrent attacks of dizziness and severe vertigo.


Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) is treatable especially in its early stages with potent anti-inflammatory medications.

The inner ear environment triggers an inflammatory response that can damage components of the hearing and balance receptors within the inner ear.

The body itself initiates the inflammatory process, attacking the tissues as foreign, even though there is no infection.

Effect of Medication on Hearing Loss

Ototoxic Medications are drugs that may cause damage to the inner ear, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.

If you have a sensorineural hearing loss, you should ask your doctor and pharmacist about medications prescribed for you since you will want to prevent an aggravation of your hearing problem.

The degree of hearing loss that you experience when taking an ototoxic drug depends on the amount and duration of the use of the medication.

If you are taking more than one ototoxic medication, you are even more vulnerable to developing a sensorineural hearing loss or aggravating your existing hearing loss.

With many drugs, such as aspirin, hearing loss returns to normal after they are discontinued, no matter how much or how long you use them.

If you experience any of the following signs of ototoxicity, consult your doctor. Some common symptons are:

  • noises in your ear (tinnitus)
  • pressure in you ears
  • an awareness of, and a fluctuation or increase in the degree of your hearing loss
  • dizziness

Other Conditions

For information about other conditions associated with hearing loss such as otosclerosis, acoustic neuroma, Usher syndrome, and Cogan syndrome, consult your otolaryngologist and library resources.



A nonprofit agency established to provide emotional support and objective information to parents of deaf and hard -of-hearing children.

The mission of the organization is to help parents be informed so that they can be knowledgeable decision makers. Beginnings can help parents work with schools to get appropriate services for a child, give information on assistive listening devices and provide referrals to other organizations.



A nonprofit organization committed to improved management in programs for deaf students and educational options for deaf people.

The organization was founded in 1869 as the Conference of Superintendents and Principals of American School for the Deaf. the dream of Edward Miner Gallaudet, then president of the Columbia Institute for the Deaf and Dumb ( now GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY), was to unite school principals behind his philosophy of communication in the classroom.

Today, the group tries to promote a continuation of educational opportunities for deaf people in North America and to encourage efficient management of schools and programs for deaf people.


A national, nonprofit organization founded in 1971 and committed to leading the effort for better hearing for better hearing through public and professional educational programs, support services and applied research.

The foundation is particularly interested in problems of ear-related disorders, specifically hearing loss and balance disturbances.

From its inception, the foundation has been dedicated to the continuing education of ear specialists and to the development of auditory and vestibular research.

                                  ON HEARING AIDS


A hearing aid should last about five years, with proper care.

You can lower your maintenance and repair costs considerably by following these tips:

Equipment for maintaining hearing aids
  • Heat and cold can damage a hearing aid. Don’t wear it under a hair dryer or store it near a heat source. Also, keep it off a windowsill where it can be exposed to sunlight. Don’t wear it for more than a few minutes in very cold weather.
  • Avoid wearing the aid in the rain or when sweating a great deal. Although drops of rain aren’t as harmful as mist and vapor, just keep it out of steamy bathrooms and kitchens. Don’t inadvertently spray it with hair spray. Never wear the aid while taking a bath.
  • Keep the aid in a plastic bag. It would be helpful to have a silica gel inside the bag to help absorb moisture.
  • Turn the aid off and remove the batteries when not in use.
  • Don’t handle the hearing aid roughly, and try to avoid knocking it onto the floor.
  • Wash the ear mold with soapy water occasionally, but never immerse the mechanical parts of the hearing aid.
  • Protect it from dust, since small particles can clog up the microphone openings.
  • Watch out for wax buildup in the small holes of the ear mold. If you produce lots of wax, ask your dispenser about a wax guard, a small screen that can catch wax before it becomes wedged into the hearing aid.
  • Clean the battery compartment & connections with a pencil eraser.
  • Replace the tubing on behind-the-ear aids when it becomes yellowed or brittle.
  • Replace cracked wiring on body hearing aids right away.
  • Keep spare batteries with you, and store extras in a cool, dry place.
  • Insert only dry, room-temperature batteries into the aid.
  • Don’t keep more than a month’s supply of batteries at one time.
  • Take your hearing aid to your dealer/dispenser for a checkup and a cleaning once a year.

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9 Replies to “Types of hearing loss”

  1. Wow! This is very interesting. I didn’t know about all these different types of hearing loss or the various causes of hearing loss. I also would not have known about all of the great tips you list for taking care of hearing aids. I am curious as to why one should not keep more than one month’s worth of batteries. Is that because the batteries are expensive and the hearing aid could break before you get to use them? Or do the batteries wear out just by sitting there?

    1. Thank you Sarah for commenting. To answer your question, most batteries run on a very specific type called ‘Zinc Air’, which can last up to a month, depending on its hearing aid power needs. But all batteries usually have an expiration date. Also remember, the smaller the battery, the shorter the battery life. So it would not make sense to stock up on batteries when you’ll drain the shelf life by stocking. Use and replace them as you go. Just monitor and maintain their usage. Please share my site with others and let me know if I could assist you further.

  2. Hi LeoniT, It really depends on how your brother has been diving to determine the extent of damage to his ear. If there’s damage to the tympanic membrane (which is the ear drum), then he should be seen by an ear specialist. Also, there’s many factors in regards to hearing loss in an older person and its effects. So it’s hard to tell if your dad will regain normal hearing until the cause is pin pointed by his doctor. I hoped this helped.

  3. Hi Ronald,
    I’m sure a lot of research has gone into writing this article. This is a very good post and I’ve learn’t so much. I absolutely had no idea that there are so many different types of hearing loss and hearing disorders. I do not know any parents with children with hearing disorders but I think that after reading this I’ve educated myself a little. If I ever do come across parents with children with hearing loss I will recommend your site to them.

    1. Thank you Celeste for commenting. Yes much, much research was done and I feel more work is to be done. There’s still a lot of information out there that I haven’t touched on. A wealth of info that I can write about. Info that will help educate others. Celeste, Please share my site with others. Thanks.

  4. Hello Ronald, It is really amazing how you can submit this special article regarding human hearing. You’re talking as one of a Doctor. Glad to know this, a lot of people could be benefitted not only personally but when someone ask, we can refer your site. The earlier detection the better. One of the very important senses of our being.

    1. Thank you, LeoniT for commenting. I’m glad you see the importance of an individual gaining more knowledge regarding this subject. As far as my personal education goes, I hold an Associate in Applied Science degree. Also, I took classes in sociology, social psychology and hearing disabilities in America; among other things. (see ‘my Vision’ page). When I first put this site into circulation, I was really surprised as to how many people, their families and friends are affected by this disability. So please do not hesitate to contact me with other questions or concerns. Also share my site with others you feel it may help.

  5. your post is fantastic. very informative. more so for me because it is so relevant to me, and especially my little girl. me personally i do not have any major probs but my left ear has an infection which i am dealing with but the feeling of not hearing properly has had a profound effect on me in that sometimes i mishear people. it is so frustrating. my girl on the other hand has something else which is frustrating her and lowering her self esteem. so having any sort of hard of hearing no matter how big or small can be frustrating. i feel for anyone with long term problems with hearing.

    this post is great for people who are worried about their hearing and would like some knowledge to help them or to give them a peace of mind.

    1. Hi Arif, thank you for commenting. yes, I agree that ear issues for anyone could be very frustrating. Lets first start with you. That problem you have in your left ear, that led to an infection could just be a simple matter of wax build up. You can visit your doctor to have this excess wax removed. Once removed your doctor then can prescribe antibiotics for the infection. On your girl, is this a young daughter of yours? How old? If a young child, when did you start noticing behavioral problems regarding her frustration? Is she favoring her left or right ear and to young to communicate about it? Please provide me with a little more info on her, so I could give you the answers you’re seeking.

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