People suffer from hearing loss for wide variety of reasons. People may complain of being unable to hear or understand others. Older individuals may complain of tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ears). Tinnitus is usually a manifestation of hearing loss, although it may have other causes as well. For some people, the cause of hearing loss is the result of a gradual buildup of earwax, which blocks the ear canal and prevents conduction of sound waves. Earwax blockage is a cause of hearing loss among people of all ages. Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumors of the outer or middle ear can cause hearing loss. A ruptured eardrum also may result in loss of hearing.
In most cases, however, hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear. Aging and prolonged exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain. When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs. Higher pitched tones may become muffled to you. It may become difficult for you to pick out words against background noise. Heredity may make you more prone to these changes.
Read more about types of hearing loss below – and contact our team of audiologists and hearing aid specialists for more information about hearing tests, tinnitus treatment, ear wax removal, hearing aid styles, and more. From our 3 locations in New Berlin, Mequon and Delafield, we conveniently serve the Cedarburg, Grafton, Thiensville and Brookfield areas.
Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the tiny hair cells of the inner ear are damaged. Even though sound gets in to the inner ear normally, the damaged hair cells are unable to “sense” and provide the required signals to the brain. In most cases the ear’s hair cells that are able to sense sound are damaged. As a result, these damage hair cells send a distorted message to the brain, making it difficult for you to hear.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a breakdown in the bio-mechanical transmission of sound to the brain. This is typically the result of their being an issue with the outer and/or middle ear.
Mixed Hearing Loss
It is possible for multiple factors to impact your hearing. Mixed hearing loss occurs when both Conductive and Sensorineural hearing loss are present. The treatment of mixed hearing loss depends on the specific factors responsible for it. We can assist you in determining the best course of action for treating mixed hearing loss.