Four Classifications of Hearing Loss

Four Classifications of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more complex than one might suppose, with various types and treatments.

Hearing loss has a serious impact upon one’s life. It can mean the disconnection of communication between friends and family at social gatherings, and it can mean missing out on higher and lower frequency sounds. Life with hearing loss definitely presents its challenges. Today, audiologists have a greater understanding of hearing and hearing loss than ever, and technology to treat and aid hearing loss is advancing. To understand better how audiologists help others to hear their best, one can learn about the four classifications of hearing loss.


Conductive hearing loss is a stoppage in the outer ear. For various reasons, sound may not be able to get through to the inner ear and consequently to be translated by the brain. This can be due to something as simple as ear wax build-up, a foreign object stuck in the ear, or something more serious like an infection or a punctured eardrum. Medical treatment or surgery can often treat and restore the hearing of the patient.


Sensorineural hearing loss has to do with a defect or damage done to the inner ear or hearing nerve. This type of hearing loss tends to be permanent. There are varying levels of sensorineural damage, from minor to severe. Causes can be genetics, diseases, and exposure to loud noise. Sensorineural hearing loss is also connected with Tinnitus, the condition in which a person hears a ringing, buzzing, or whistling in their ears. It is also connected to aging. The hearing loss due to aging is specifically called Presbycusis.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the conductive and sensorineural types. Someone may have a permanent type of hearing loss, such as Tinnitus, but also have a temporary issue of ear wax build-up.

Auditory Processing Disorder

The cause of this type of hearing loss shows up earlier in life. Auditory Processing Disorder, or APD, is hearing loss due to a problem in the central nervous system. The symptoms may vary, as well as performance, such as in class. There are a number of disorders that can look like hearing loss in children but are not at all, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, in which it can be hard for a child to listen and retain information. It is best to see an audiologist to determine the cause of hearing loss.

Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions

Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.

Come in for a walk-in appointment on Tuesdays & Fridays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, or contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 410-698-6594 or visiting our contact page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn for more blog posts, news, and updates!

This entry was posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019 at 11:39 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions, LLC provides hearing evaluations and tinnitus evaluations to patients in Ellicott City, Columbia, Catonsville, Baltimore, Sykesville and all of Howard, Carroll and Baltimore County. Contact Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions, LLC at 410-698-6594 to schedule a tinnitus evaluation or hearing evaluation.

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