Hearing Loss fits into one of three categories: Conductive, Sensorineural or Mixed.
The type of Hearing Loss you have will determine the course of treatment. Not all Hearing Loss is treated with hearing aids. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing in one or both ears, you need to seek immediate treatment with one of our Ear, Nose & Throat physicians. Sudden hearing loss may be restored if treated promptly.

Conductive Hearing Loss

  • Related to the outer or middle ear
  • Often causes mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Hearing loss is typically temporary
  • Usually treated with medication or minor surgery
  • Individual experiences a “plugged-up” feeling
Causes commonly include:
  • Fluid or earwax buildup
  • Ear infection
  • Allergies
  • Undetectable foreign objects
  • Eustachian tube issues
  • Developmental malformations
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Irregular bone growth (otosclerosis)

Sensorineural hearing loss

  • Related to the inner ear (cochlea)
  • Most common type of hearing loss
  • Causes mild to profound hearing impairment
  • Effects are typically permanent
  • May show as SSHL (Single-Sided Hearing Loss) or Asymmetric Hearing Loss (greater loss in one ear than the other ear)
  • Most typically treated with hearing aids
Causes commonly include:
  • Aging
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Viral infections
  • Diseases
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Injury or trauma
  • Developmental malformations
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Acoustic neuromas

Mixed hearing loss

  • Related to problems in inner ear and outer or middle ear
  • Least common type of hearing loss
  • Causes mild to profound hearing impairment
  • Effects are usually permanent
  • Treated with hearing aids, medication and/or surgery
Conductive issues typically treated first
  • Can result from any cause related to sensorineural or conductive hearing loss