When something prevents the sound wave vibrations entering the inner ear it is called a conductive loss – the sound wave conduction is hindered. Generally this type of hearing loss is medically correctable
When the hearing cells in the cochlea cannot pick up or transmit information to the brain it is called a sensorineural loss. This type of hearing loss is most often permanent. Some causes are listed below:
This results when there is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss present.
Is hearing loss due to the ageing process. A progressive loss of the inner ear hearing cells – perhaps 2% each year? It effects the high frequency noises first (a ‘ski-slope’ audiogram) becoming noticeable around age 60-65. It begins very slowly and can vary from mild to severe. Onset age and degree of loss vary a great deal.
Speech discrimination is often worse than would be expected from the degree of loss. This is because of ‘recruitment’ – the threshold of hearing and the uncomfortable level of sound are abnormally close. Hence you may hear “speak up I can’t hear you …… don’t shout so loud!” Discrimination may also be effected, “I can hear you but I can’t hear what you are saying”. shouting makes the problem worse. Often folk with presbycusis will use the phrase ” their speech is muffled” when talking about the grandchildren, TV characters, meeting group participants etc.