Yorkshire Auditory Implant Service

Types of Hearing Loss

Conductive Vs Sensorineural

Depending on which section of the ear that is affected, two main types of hearing loss can be identified.

  • Any problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents the ear from conducting sound properly is known as a conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing losses are usually mild or moderate in nature and in some cases can be temporary. In many cases, medication, surgery or hearing aids can help.

  • A problem in the cochlea caused by missing or damaged sensory cells (hair cells) can cause sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and can be classed as mild, moderate, severe or profound. People with severe/profound hearing loss who do not benefit from hearing aids may be helped by a cochlear implant. However, in rare cases, such as when the auditory nerve itself is damaged or when the cochlear is not properly formed, a cochlear implant may be unsuitable.

Did you know it is possible to have a combination of the two types of hearing loss? This is called a Mixed Hearing Loss.