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Hearing Loss

What are the different types of hearing loss?

Hearing loss can be categorized by many different types. Two main types of hearing loss are "sensorineural" and "conductive." Both of these types of hearing loss can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life.

Sensorineural

This hearing loss involves loss of function within the inner ear or the hearing nerve that connects to the brain. Causes of this type of hearing loss include:

Congenital factors - conditions present at birth, such as:

Acquired - factors that occurred after birth including:

Conductive hearing loss

This hearing loss involves a problem in the outer or middle ear in which sound waves are not sent to the inner ear correctly. Conductive hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss in children and is usually acquired. Factors that may cause or be associated with this type of hearing loss are:

Congenital factors - conditions present at birth, such as:

Acquired factors, such as:

Reviewed by: Steven D. Handler, MD, MBE
Date: April 2009

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