Types of Hearing Loss

Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be either acquired or congenital…

Hearing loss is generally classed as sensori-neural, conductive or mixed. All hearing loss types can be either acquired (occur due to age, a disease process or injury) or congenital (something occurring or identified at birth).



Common with ageing but can be seen with noise damage, sensori-neural hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in the inner ear caused by a disruption to the sound signals being sent to the brain for understanding from either the cochlea (sensori) or the auditory nerve (neural).Sensori-neural hearing loss is usually permanent.


The early signs of hearing loss

How it affects your hearing

Sensori-neural hearing loss affects both the loudness and the quality of the sounds around you. People generally describe this as being aware that people are speaking but not being able to understand them. This can be worse in noisy environments or over distance. This is called loss of sound discrimination.


Conductive Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is commonly seen with ear infections and occurs when there is a problem in the outer or middle ear which stops the sounds reaching the hearing nerve. Caused by blockages in the outer or middle ear, or problems with the function of the middle ear bones where the auditory nerve is still functioning normally. Conductive losses can sometimes be helped with medical treatment or surgery.

General causes of Conductive hearing loss

How it affects your hearing

Conductive hearing loss mostly affects the loudness of the sound.


Mixed Hearing Loss

Is generally a combination of Sensori-neural and Conductive problems that affects sounds travelling through both the middle ear and inner ear.

What levels of hearing loss are there?

Hearing loss levels is usually described as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe and profound. To put the level of hearing loss into perspective, our conversational speech is around 65dB.

Your level of hearing difficulty is determined by a hearing test called an Audiogram, and audiogram tests for pitch and loudness.

What do you need?

The level and type of hearing loss you have will decide whether a hearing device will help you… Not all clients want or need a hearing device. Some people may be referred for further advice depending on the results of their hearing assessment.

You could be  eligible for the voucher component of the Hearing Services Program if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident 21 years or older and you meet certain eligibility requirements.  This would enable you to free hearing aids and services.

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