By the time we reach 65, one in three of us will have a hearing problem and in this article, we want to elaborate on the causes of hearing loss. There are three types of hearing loss, which are sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. The cause of hearing loss can be due to age, noise damage or something else. Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the pathways from your inner ear to your brain. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be corrected medically or surgically but can be treated and helped with the use of hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss

The second cause of hearing loss is Conductive hearing loss. This is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear. Which can be a result due to fluid, tumours, earwax or even the way your ear is formed. This obstruction prevents sound from getting to the inner ear. The positive thing about the type of hearing loss is that it can often be treated surgically or with medicine.

Mixed hearing loss

The last cause of hearing loss is called mixed hearing loss. And the obvious prevails — a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. As with any medical condition, it’s best to know what you “have” before deciding what to do about it. A consultation with us at Strauss Audiology can help determine the causes of your hearing loss. So, get in touch with us sooner rather than later.

Below are four clinically labelled degrees of hearing loss:

  1. Mild hearing loss
    If you have mild hearing loss, it could mean that you can hear some speech sounds, but will have difficulty with softer sounds.
  2. Moderate hearing loss
    If you have moderate hearing loss, you will struggle to hear and/or understand speech when someone is talking at a normal level.
  3. Severe hearing loss
    If you have severe hearing loss, you will hear almost no speech when someone speaks to you at normal level and you will only hear some loud sounds.
  4. Profound hearing loss
    If you have profound hearing loss, you may only hear very loud sounds and no speech at all.
Causes of hearing loss

The causes of hearing loss involve many factors, which is triggered most frequently from natural aging or exposure to loud noise. The most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Ageing
  • Noise exposure
  • Head trauma
  • Virus or disease
  • Genetics
  • Ototoxicity
Things that can cause sensorineural hearing loss are:
  • Ageing
  • Injury
  • Excessive noise exposure
  • Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
  • Shingles
  • Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
  • Meningitis
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High fever or elevated body temperature
  • Ménière’s disease (a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance)
  • Acoustic tumours
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
Things that can cause conductive hearing loss are:
  • Infections of the ear canal or middle ear resulting in fluid or pus build-up
  • Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
  • Wax build-up
  • Dislocation of the middle ear bones (ossicles)
  • Foreign object in the ear canal
  • Otosclerosis (an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)
  • Abnormal growths or tumours

If you suspect that you have any form of hearing loss and have an idea of the causes of hearing loss, it is best that you consult us so that we at Strauss Audiology can, together with you, pinpoint the origin and causes of your hearing loss to perform the proper treatment.

About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 16 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.

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