What is Hearing Loss

Hearing loss refers to a decreased ability to hear sounds. It is a prevalent condition that affects millions worldwide. It can range from mild, where individuals may struggle to hear faint sounds, to profound, where they may not hear any sound at all.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, aging, exposure to loud noise, infections, and certain medical conditions like otosclerosis or Meniere's disease. Additionally, injuries to the head or ear, as well as the use of ototoxic medications, can contribute to hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Loss

Types of hearing loss can be broadly categorized into conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.

  • Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or to the nerve pathways that carry sound from the inner ear to the brain. This is the most common type of hearing loss and is often caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, or certain medical conditions.
  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not able to pass through the outer ear or middle ear to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by a buildup of earwax, a perforated eardrum, or a problem with the bones in the middle ear.
  • Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.