Mixed hearing loss means having both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss in the same ear or ears. Mixed hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear can’t transmit sound properly to the inner ear. Additionally, the individual’s cochlea, auditory nerve or other inner ear structures that are responsible for interpreting sound and relaying it to the brain exhibit some degree of dysfunction. Mixed hearing loss results from numerous and diverse causes from both sensorineural and conductive loss.
Examples of how this occurs
Patient One frequently attends loud concerts and subsequently develops noise-induced hearing loss. She subsequently develops an ear infection. Patient Two experiences natural, age-related hearing loss. He then experiences a trauma that perforates his eardrum. Both people exemplify this condition.
How a combination of sensorineural and conductive losses impact hearing
Impairment ranges from slight to profound. Conductive hearing loss makes it difficult to understand speech. Sufferers have trouble picking up softer sounds, especially with competing background noises. If the individual has mostly sensorineural hearing loss, speech and other sounds may seem distorted. So even if the volume is loud enough, the individual may struggle deciphering words.
Some types of conductive hearing loss need an ENT specialist to treat the conductive component first. Afterwards a hearing care specialist will address the sensorineural hearing loss. This may include fitting with hearing aids.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Mixed Hearing Loss?
If you or someone you love is experiencing hearing loss or other hearing-related symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a licensed specialist who can properly assess* your needs. We welcome you to make an appointment today.