What Is the Difference between Conductive and Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
The major difference between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss is how they can be treated, and if they can be treated. It’s important to understand the causes and obstacles of each condition before creating a treatment plan.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Causes and Treatments
Sensorineural hearing loss stems from either the hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) or the nerve that runs from the cochlea to the brain. In some cases, it’s a mixture of both that cause the problems. This kind of hearing loss is permanent because it is impossible to return your natural hearing to its previous state.
The possible causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:
- Viral infections
- Some medications
- Birth defects
- Long-term noise exposure
At Health and Hearing, we treat sensorineural hearing loss with a range of high-tech hearing aids that are tailored to the patient’s individual needs.
Conductive Hearing Loss Causes and Treatments
Conductive hearing loss stems from a physical issue, typically fluid, tissue or a bony growth that reduces or completely blocks incoming sounds. This blockage may involve the ear canal, the eardrum, the middle ear or the bones in the middle ear. The good news with conductive hearing loss is that it is usually temporary and can be corrected by fixing the cause.
The causes of conductive hearing loss include:
- Fluid in the middle ear caused by allergies or sickness
- Ear infections
- Poor Eustachian tube function – this is the tube that connects the middle of the ear and the nose
- Holes in the eardrum
- Benign tumours
- Earwax stuck in the ear canal
- Swimmer’s ear
- Birth defects that affect how the ear is formed
There are many treatments for conductive hearing loss, depending on what is causing the problem. An ENT or a physician may treat the problem with medication or surgery. If these treatments won’t work, the issue may be rectified with hearing aids.
What Is Mixed Hearing Loss?
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss when it occurs in the same ear. Treating the conductive component first may alleviate the severity of the hearing loss but the sensorineural component will remain. The remaining issue will need to be treated with hearing aids.
Book a Hearing Test Today
To establish the cause and potential treatments for your hearing loss, book a hearing test at a Health and Hearing clinic in Brisbane. You can book a free consultation by calling (07) 3366 9355 or contacting us online.