There are several different types of hearing loss. Each type requires a different method of treatment.

Exploring the Different Types of Hearing Loss: A Comprehensive Overview

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Chances are, if you’re not experiencing hearing loss yourself, you know someone who is. Hearing loss is an incredibly common condition here in Canada and around the world. Did you know that 60 percent of the Canadian adult population suffers from hearing loss?

It may also surprise you to learn that there are several different types of hearing loss, and each type requires a diagnosis and a different approach to treatment.  

Here at Hometown Hearing Centres, we commonly treat conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.


Canadian adult population suffers from hearing loss

Let’s explore these two types of hearing loss as well as some less common conditions.  

Conductive Hearing Loss 

Conductive hearing loss is often caused by a blockage or damage to the outer or middle ear. Sound waves can’t be transmitted to the inner ear, which causes hearing loss. 

This type of hearing loss can occur when earwax builds up or when a foreign object gets stuck in your ear. It can also be caused by certain other medical conditions, like a hole in your eardrum, an ear infection, an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, or fluid that accumulates between your eardrum and cochlea. 

Symptoms can include muffled hearing, gradual or sudden loss of hearing, a sensation of fullness, dizziness, pain, or discomfort. 

Addressing conductive hearing loss involves identifying and treating the root cause. Options for treatment range from the safe removal of earwax by a hearing care professional to antibiotics for ear infections and, in some cases, surgical intervention. 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss is often an unfortunate side effect of aging, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is a result of permanent damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve, usually manifesting gradually. 

Aging isn’t always the culprit – sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises. This is why it’s so important to protect your hearing if you work or spend time in a noisy environment. 

Tinnitus – that annoying ringing in your ears – is often a symptom of sensorineural hearing loss. 

Sensorineural hearing loss is typically treated with hearing aids to amplify sounds reaching the inner ear. In severe cases, cochlear implants may be considered.  

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss 

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a rapid onset variation of sensorineural hearing loss, shouldn’t be taken lightly. It usually develops over the course of 72 hours, and it demands immediate medical attention. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing sudden hearing loss, contact a hearing care professional right away. 

Auditory Neuropathy Hearing Loss 

Auditory neuropathy is much less common than conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. It’s caused by auditory nerves that don’t function as they should. Your auditory nerves are responsible for transmitting signals from your inner ear to your brain. When they’re unable to do so, you will have trouble hearing certain sounds. 

A common symptom of auditory neuropathy hearing loss is the inability to hear sounds in noisy environments. 

Hearing devices and auditory training can help individuals with auditory neuropathy hearing loss have a better quality of life. 

Auditory Processing Disorder 

Auditory processing disorder is another less common condition. It impacts the way certain individuals are able to perceive sounds, especially when there is a lot of background noise.  

Children with this condition may struggle in a classroom environment, and they may need to ask for clarification and repetition often. 

There is no one-size-fits all treatment for auditory processing disorder, but auditory rehabilitation can be effective in some cases. 

Treating Hearing Loss in Ontario 

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of hearing loss, our team is here for you. With 18 convenient locations across Ontario, we make accessing trusted hearing care simple.  

Our team of hearing care professionals has hundreds of years’ combined experience treating people with all types of hearing loss. You can rest assured that no matter what type of hearing challenge you or your loved ones are facing, we have found a solution for others experiencing something similar. 

To get in touch with our team, complete the form to request a callback. 

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Your Team at Hometown Hearing Centre

At Hometown Hearing Centre, we are committed to providing the highest levels of hearing care to our patients across Ontario. Since opening our doors in 2015, we have become the first choice hearing care provider for over 25,000 people. Our team of over 40 local hearing professionals includes hearing instrument specialists, a former ENT practitioner, and patient care coordinators who are dedicated to delivering personalized care tailored to each patient's unique needs and circumstances. Our team of experts regularly writes informative blogs to keep our patients informed about the latest news, tips, and tricks in hearing care. With our extensive experience and dedication to patient care, you can trust the team at Hometown Hearing Centre to be your hearing health partners for life.