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Types of hearing loss

Widex Conductive hearing loss
Left: a conductive hearing loss. Right: a sensorineural hearing loss.

Hearing loss can mean many things. From the slight inability to hear the birds sing to total deafness, hearing loss comes in many types and levels. Confused about the type of hearing loss that you or a loved one has?

There are three overall types of hearing loss, which are diagnosed based on which part of your hearing system is damaged.  
  • Conductive hearing loss happens when sound doesn’t travel efficiently from the outer ear and into the eardrum and bones of the middle ear. People with this type of hearing loss often hear sounds more softly than they should – and may entirely miss out on quiet sounds. There are several causes of conductive hearing loss including: ear infection, fluid in the middle ear, allergy, tumors, earwax build-up, and swimmer’s ear. More about conductive hearing loss.

  • Sensorineural hearing loss happens when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerves that travel from the ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is permanent and can make even loud noises sound muffled. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include: illness, drugs, genetic or hereditary conditions, aging, head trauma, and noise exposure. More about sensorineural hearing loss.

  • Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss
Hearing aid types
The choice of hearing aid depends on the type of hearing loss, the shape of the individual ear canal and to some extent the user´s own individual preferences.

See which hearing aid types Widex offers.