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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the different types of hearing loss?

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  • 1


    Nicole Bowden


    Nicole is a well respected, trusted and caring independent Audiologist with over 25 years experience in both paediatric and adult audiology. Nicole's professional and ethical … View Profile

    The ear is made up of 3 parts – the outer, middle and inner ear. The type of hearing loss is determined by which part of the ear is affected. For example, the OUTER and MIDDLE ear allows the sound to be physically transmitted to the inner ear. If this mechanical system is disrupted in any way, e.g. wax blocking the ear canal, a hole in the eardrum, ear infection, fluid in the middle ear or the middle ear bones become fused or dislocated, it would result in what is called CONDUCTIVE hearing loss. When the INNER ear is affected e.g. by noise exposure, ototoxic drugs, the ageing process, virus or head injury, a SENSORINEURAL hearing loss would occur. When both the inner and middle/outer ear are affected, e.g. an ear infection is present with an underlying noise induced hearing loss, it is termed a MIXED hearing loss.

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