Conductive Hearing Loss – occurs when a condition or disease is causing insufficient conduction of sound to the inner ear (cochlea). Problems may be within the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear space and its little bones (malleus, incus and stapes). This results in the loudness reduction of sounds. Once the sound is loud enough, the ear works in a normal way. This type of hearing loss may be medically or surgically treated, resulting in complete or partial improvements in hearing.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss – occurs with a problem in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. There may be damage to the hair cells, a problem with the fluids in the inner ear, or dysfunction in the nerve pathway. This results in reduced intensity and distortion of sound even when the sound is loud enough. This type of hearing loss usually is not corrected medically or surgically and is considered permanent.
Mixed Hearing Loss – occurs when a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss exist. This means there may be damage to the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear AND the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. This results in hearing abilities worse than the sensorineural loss alone.