There are several different types of hearing loss, each with its own causes and characteristics – and it’s crucial to know which kind of hearing loss a person has in order for it to be effectively treated. Conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss are the three main types of hearing loss – and in fact, mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
As you might’ve guessed, mixed hearing loss symptoms are a combination of the symptoms of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss – and are not dissimilar to other common symptoms of hearing loss. From mild to profound mixed hearing loss, symptoms may include:
Mixed hearing loss treatment usually involves a multi-factored approach that depends on the causes – and while mixed hearing loss can’t be completely cured (due to the permanence of sensorineural hearing loss), it can be managed both by dealing with the conductive component and using hearing devices to address the sensorineural element. In some circumstances, hearing devices may also be a non-invasive option to assist those living with conductive hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss treatment often begins with seeing to the conductive component first, as this part may be completely treatable, depending on the cause – for example, clearing an earwax blockage, surgery for a growth, or medicine for an infection.
When it comes to the sensorineural component of mixed hearing loss, hearing aids are the most widely used solution. Hearing aids come in a wide range of styles, sizes and capabilities, and your Bay Audiology specialist can advise you on the most suitable option for you and your level of hearing loss. Cochlear implants may also be an effective treatment option.
Of course, prevention is always better than a cure, and there are many simple, practical ways to help prevent hearing loss and minimise your risk. Reducing the time you spend in loud environments (or wearing earplugs when it’s unavoidable), avoiding using cotton buds to clean your ear wax, and not turning the volume up too high on your personal listening devices are just a few of the easy ways you can help protect your ears and look after your hearing health.