Personalized Hearing Solutions

416.551.4327 (HEAR)
2333 Dundas Street West, Suite 304
Toronto, ON M6R 3A6

Types Of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensory neural and a combination of both, called a mixed hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss: Conductive hearing loss results when sound does not pass correctly through the middle or inner ear. This type of hearing loss can also affect the movement of the middle ear bones (incus or stapes). Conductive Hearing Loss may be caused by a wax blockage, punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infection or heredity. Hearing aids and/or surgery can greatly improve a person’s communication difficulties with this type of hearing loss.

Sensory neural Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss is caused from inner ear or auditory nerve dysfunction, which reduces the intensity of sound and is the most common type of hearing loss.  It can be caused by damage to the inner ear brought about by aging, pre-natal and birth-related problems, exposure to loud noise, viral and bacterial infections, heredity, trauma, fluid backup or a benign tumour in the inner ear.

Sensory neural hearing loss is permanent and hearing aids are recommended for treatment.

Mixed Hearing Loss: A mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensory neural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is caused when sound does not pass correctly through the outer, middle and/ or inner ear. Hearing aids are recommended for people with mixed hearing loss.

 Degrees of Hearing Loss:

Decibel Loss

Hearing Loss

16 – 25

Slight - Problems if listening conditions are poor (i.e. a noisy party)

26 – 40

Mild - Difficulty hearing soft or distant speech in church or theatre; may benefit from a hearing aid

41 – 55

Moderate - Conversation heard from 1-2 metres, but understanding speech is a strain, especially with background noise; hearing aids required

56 – 70

Moderately severe - Conversation must be loud and nearby; hearing aids should be complemented by other devices and speech reading instruction

71 – 90

Severe - Cannot hear loud speech or understand speech on the telephone; besides hearing aids, other technology and speech reading, counseling and speech therapy may be required

91 +

Profound - Some very loud sounds may be heard or felt through vibration. Speech reading training, speech therapy and counseling are essential (this is the level of hearing loss for a late deafened person)

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