Types of Hearing Loss (HL) :
- Unilateral or Bilateral HL: Hearing loss is in one ear or in both ears.
- Pre-lingual or Post-lingual HL: Hearing loss occurred before a person learned to talk or after a person learned to talk.
- Symmetric or Asymmetric HL: Hearing loss is equal in both ears (symmetric) or hearing loss is worse on one ear (asymmetric).
- Progressive or Sudden: Progressive Hearing loss gets worse over time, while sudden hearing loss happens suddenly.
- Fluctuating or Stable: Hearing loss gets either better or worse over time (fluctuating), or it stays the same over time (stable).
- Congenital or Delayed (Acquired Onset): Hearing loss is there at birth (congenital), or appears later in life (acquired or delayed onset).
Causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by many different factors. Treatment for hearing loss as soon as possible can be more effective. Treatments can include various medical, surgical, and technological options depending on the cause of hearing loss. Ear,Nose & Throat doctors, Audiologists and hearing specialists work together to determine the most effective treatment option for you.
Hearing loss can be divided into:
- Sensorineural hearing loss: due to damage in the inner ear or nerve pathways. And can be caused by disease, drugs, hereditary or genetic problems, trauma, malformation of the inner ear, exposure to loud noise, or aging.
- Conductive hearing loss: can result from an ear infection, accumulation of fluids, allergies, perforated eardrum, benign tumors, abnormal bone growth, or accumulated earwax.
- Mixed hearing loss: occurs when both- conductive and sensorineural loss- are present.
- Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder: Occurs when damage to the inner ear or the hearing nerve makes the sound unorganized in which the brain can't understand.
Degrees of hearing loss
The degree of hearing loss refers to the severity of the loss, which is described as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
- Mild Hearing Loss: A person with mild hearing loss may hear some speech sounds, but soft sounds are hard to hear.
- Moderate Hearing Loss: A person with moderate hearing loss may hear almost no speech when another person is talking at a normal level.
- Severe Hearing Loss: A person with severe hearing loss will hear no speech when another person is talking at a normal level and only hear some loud sounds.
- Profound Hearing Loss: A person with a profound hearing loss will not hear any speech and only hear very loud sounds.