Hearing healthcare professionals diagnose hearing loss according to the nature of the hearing loss, which comes in three types.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the small bones of the middle ear. With conductive hearing loss, there is typically a reduction in sound levels or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can usually be corrected medically or surgically.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that results from damage to the inner ear, or to the nerves from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is usually not able to be corrected medically or surgically and is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Sometimes conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with sensorineural hearing loss. In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. When this occurs, the hearing loss is referred to as mixed hearing loss.