Types of Hearing Loss


Sensory hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. This occurs when there is damage to the sensory hair cells or nerve fibers in the inner ear (cochlea). This hearing loss is irreversible and there is no surgical intervention for this type of loss. Amplification is used to treat a sensory hearing loss.

Conductive Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem within the outer ear, ear drum or middle ear space. It is the second most common type of hearing loss. Sound waves are unable to transfer to the cochlea properly, which results in a hearing loss. Depending on nature and severity of the conductive loss, it can often be treated with further medical management such as surgical intervention or pharmaceuticals. However, some cases of permanent or chronic conductive hearing loss may warrant other treatment options, such as amplification.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Sometimes a conductive hearing loss and sensory hearing loss happen at the same time. This means there is damage in the outer or middle ear and inner ear or nerve pathway. This is called a mixed hearing loss.


Simply means that one ear has more loss than the other ear. However, this is not a normal finding and when it occurs, it requires further evaluation.

Auditory Neuropathy (AN)

Auditory Neuropathy is a hearing disorder in which the outer hair cells of the cochlea are present and functional, but sound information is not transmitted normally by the auditory nerve to the brain. This results in a mild to profound loss of the ability to understand speech.