Hearing Loss

There are two main types of hearing loss and many causes. In this section, we will explore the different types of hearing loss and some of the causes.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Hearing loss that includes the outer and middle ears (area between the pinna and the stapes footplate), is considered a conductive hearing loss. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss can be excessive cerumen accumulation, tympanic perforation, and otosclerosis. Many times hearing loss that is conductive in nature can be helped medically. For example, if someone has a build-up of earwax, taking it out is a quick and easy way to help a patient hear better. In the case of otosclerosis, the ossicles are not moving efficiently and sometimes a prosthesis can be implanted to help the bones move freely. A conductive hearing loss typically sounds “muffled” to the patient. This is because all of the parts involved in the conductive hearing anatomy help to “amplify” sound waves so they can be heard by the patient. If one part of the section is not doing it’s job properly, the sound is not amplified enough for a person to “hear” it. This is in contrast to a sensorineural hearing loss, where the patient hears sound in a “distorted” manner.

Hearing loss in Pinna

Hearing loss resulting from the pinna include:

  • Anotia (lack of pinna)
  • Microtia (small pinna)
  • Atresia (lack of ear canal)

Hearing loss in Ear Canal

Hearing loss resulting from the ear canal include:

  • Excessive ceruemen build-up
  • Foreign object in canal
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear)

Hearing loss in Tympanic Membrane

Hearing loss resulting from the Tympanic Membrane include:

  • Cholesteatoma
  • Fluid behind Tympanic Membrane
  • Otitis Media (ear infection)
  • Tympanic Perferation

Hearing loss in Ossicles

Hearing loss resulting from the Ossicles include:

  • Ossicular Discontinuity
  • Otosclerosis