Symptoms of mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss can range from mild to profound and can affect one or both ears.
If the loss is mostly conductive, it might make it tricky to hear people speaking if they talk quietly or if there’s background noise. If it’s more sensorineural you might struggle to understand speech even when the person is speaking loudly.
Many people with a mixed hearing loss will experience sounds as very soft in volume which makes them difficult to understand.
Signs to look out for include: asking people to repeat themselves, avoiding noisy situations and feeling tired from straining to hear people.
Causes of mixed hearing loss
As a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, there are several causes for mixed hearing loss. These include:
Treatment process for mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss can be treated in a number of ways depending on the causes. Your audiologist or GP will be able to determine if medications, hearing aids or, in some cases, surgery would be the best treatment plan.
Mixed hearing loss patient outlook
The conductive element of mixed hearing loss can sometimes be helped through treatment but sensineural hearing loss is usually permanent.
Hearing aids for mixed hearing loss
Depending on the severity of any sensorineural hearing loss, you may find that hearing aids would be hugely beneficial.
Surgical treatments tend to focus on very specific causes of mixed hearing loss and therefore won’t benefit everyone, hearing aids tend to be the most suitable option.
Ageing and mixed hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is more often than not a result of ageing. Combine this with overexposure to loud noises, certain medications and some medical or genetic conditions and you can develop mixed hearing loss.
Conductive and sensorineural hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems with the outer or middle ear, so the ear canal, ear drum, middle ear bones or middle ear cavity are preventing sound from getting to the inner ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by problems with the inner ear and the nerves related to hearing.
When to seek help from a hearing specialist
If you think you’re experiencing mixed hearing loss, or experience any type of sudden hearing loss we’d recommend that you see one of our audiologists or your GP as soon as possible in order to determine its cause, and the most effective treatment options to help restore your hearing.
Depending on the severity of the conductive or sensorineural damage to your ears, some hearing loss may be permanent, but it can be helped with hearing aids.
There’s a variety of treatments for mixed hearing loss depending on the causes but can include medications, hearing aids or surgery
Sensorineural hearing loss can be as the result of a birth defect to the inner ear, illness, drug reaction or trauma to the ear.
A build-up of earwax is more likely to cause conductive hearing loss than sensorineural.