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Noise-Induced hearing loss

This type of hearing loss can affect anyone at any age. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by exposure to loud sounds that damages or destroys the hair cells in your inner ear. NIHL can result from a single exposure to an extremely loud impulse sound (e.g., a shotgun blast close to your unprotected ears) or regular exposure over time to sounds exceeding 85 decibels (dB). Examples of how NIHL may occur over time include listening to music turned up to maximum volume through earbuds or working with construction machinery without wearing hearing protection.

Sudden hearing loss

Hearing loss usually comes on gradually due to age (presbycusis) or NIHL taking their toll. However, certain conditions can cause sudden hearing loss, including exposure to an extremely loud sound that causes immediate damage, certain diseases, tumor, head injury, or use of ototoxic (“ear poisoning”) drugs. In most cases, hearing will return over time, either on its own or through medical intervention, but for some the hearing loss may be permanent.

Sensorineural hearing loss

This type of hearing loss involves deterioration of the inner ear. The tiny hairs that line the ear passage and which carry sound have been damaged. This type of hearing loss is most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to high volume levels, bacterial and viral infections, fluid build-up, sudden trauma to the ear, and the normal aging process. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be treated with medication or surgery — hearing aids are the only way to treat this permanent condition.

Conductive hearing loss

This type of hearing loss occurs when the inner ear does not properly receive sound signals. It can be caused by injury to the middle ear or ear canal, fluid build-up behind the eardrum, or excessive earwax. Conductive hearing loss can usually be treated medically. If surgery or medication is not an option for you, hearing aids can be an excellent solution to your hearing problem.