What is Mixed Hearing Loss?

March 4, 2015

Learn more about what it is, what causes it and how it can be treated

 

A patient is diagnosed with mixed hearing loss is when he/she presents with a combination of Sensori-Neural hearing loss(SNHL) and Conductive hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.

 

Sensori-neural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common type of hearing loss. In most cases it cannot be medically or surgically corrected and is a permanent loss. It is a result of damage to the pathway for sound impulses from the hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear to the nerve pathways from the inner ear (retrocochlear) to the brain.

 

Conductive hearing loss (CHL) can often be corrected medically or surgically. It is caused by any type of  middle ear problem and means that sound cannot get through to the cochlea via the ear canal, ear drum, and middle ear bones. An example of such a problem is a chronic middle ear infection, filling the middle ear space with fluid and hinders the conduction of sound through the middle ear.

 

What are the symptoms?

Hearing loss is most often very gradual and painless. In many cases it creeps up on people because its development is so slow that it occurs quite unnoticed. Major warning signs are withdrawal from conversation, social withdrawal and depression.  If you have any problems hearing speech or following conversations in noise, contact your nearest audiologist for a hearing test.

 

How is it diagnosed?

An audiologist will conduct a hearing test using an audiometer to determine the level of hearing loss. An Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor can determine the specific diagnosis and treatments for hearing loss and perform surgical treatments, if necessary.

 

How is it treated?

Once the cause of the hearing loss is determined the treatment options can be considered to achieve the best possible hearing outcome.

 

Source:  http://www.audiologysa.co.za/

 

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