Hearing Link

Causes of hearing loss

There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss (where the problem lies in the middle ear – ear drum or ossicles) and sensorineural hearing loss (where there is damage in the inner ear – cochlea or hearing nerve).

A conductive hearing loss affects the passage of sound between the ear drum and the inner ear. Sound passes down the ear canal to the ear drum and through the middle ear, where the sound is transmitted across the middle ear by the three bones called the ossicles to the inner ear.

A sensorineural hearing loss is defined as damage to the hair cells in the cochlea (this is the sensory hearing organ) or damage to the neural pathways of hearing (nerves). With this type of hearing loss it is not always possible to tell which part is damaged and is therefore often listed together as sensorineural hearing loss.

Video of the causes of hearing loss

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