The ear is a very complex, sensory organ, and even simple conversations can be very tiring for people with hearing loss. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, following a discussion with several participants requires intense effort. Active communication is difficult, which can quickly lead to isolation.
Hearing loss can have many causes. But in most cases, hearing loss can be addressed successfully.
The ear consists of three sections:
- Outer ear
- Middle ear
- Inner ear
There are two types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss
- Sensorineural hearing loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
This indicates that there is a problem with the mechanism that conducts sound from the environment to the inner ear. Problems in the external auditory canal (outer ear), eardrum or the bones of hearing (the middle ear) may cause a conductive loss. This type of loss can often be corrected by medication or surgery. If it cannot be corrected, the individual can usually do very well with a hearing aid.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This indicates a problem in the organ of hearing or the nerve of hearing. There may be damage to the cochlea (inner ear), auditory nerve, or the auditory centers of the brain. An individual with a sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from a hearing aid, cochlear implant, communication therapies or other medical management, depending on the degree of the loss or the cause of the loss.