July 13th 2010 -
Hearing loss affects millions of people of all different ages. Understanding the reason behind this impairment is one of the many steps to overcoming it. Conductive hearing loss occurs because of a deficiency in the outer-ear’s ability to conduct sound, which therefore does not reach the eardrum. This results in a lowered volume of sound heard, and an inability to hear faint sounds. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, this is a disorder developed from having too much fluid or ear wax, an infection, a foreign object, or a malformation of some part of the ear. This is one of the more correctable forms of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and cannot be easily fixed. This occurs when damage is done to the inner ear or nerves in the ear that connect to the brain. A few of the many causes of sensorineural hearing loss include disease, drugs, genetics, noise exposure, and aging.Some individuals experience a combination of both of these types of hearing loss, which is known as mixed hearing loss. Others have one of the above mentioned forms of hearing loss, but it is only present in one ear, called unilateral hearing loss. Someone may also experience varied degrees of hearing impairment in each ear, referred to as asymmetrical hearing loss. Hearing impairments can also be classified as progressive or sudden, with progressive gradually worsening over time, and sudden occurring rapidly, many times due to some sort of trauma. Fluctuating vs. stable is a final way to categorize hearing loss. A changing degree of impairment, fluctuating, is usually associated with conductive hearing loss.Understanding the many causes as well as the possible remedies for a hearing impairment is the best way to deal with this problem.