Types of Hearing Loss

Several issues can cause hearing loss, so it stands to reason that there are also different types of hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Loss

The ear is a complicated organ that has many nerves, cells, and structures. Damage to any of them can lead to hearing loss.

We can break the type of deafness you may be experiencing down into three categories:


This is any type of deafness that occurs as a result of damage to the auditory pathway from the ear to the brain or damage to the small hair cells found within the inner ear.

Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss is often permanent.

It’s also the most common form of hearing loss and can occur as a result of aging, noise exposure, and physical trauma.


Conductive hearing loss occurs due to issues related to the external or middle ear. These issues typically prevent sound from reaching the inner ear.

Thankfully, many conductive types of hearing loss are treatable. Examples include an excessive build-up of earwax and objects lodged in the ear canal.

Conductive hearing loss may be corrected using surgery and doesn’t usually lead to permanent damage.


You experience mixed hearing loss due to a combination of sensorineural and conductive issues.

For example, somebody may have mixed hearing loss if they have issues related to noise exposure combined with the build-up of fluid in their ear canal.

The good news is that the fluid issue is treatable, which can lead to the restoration of some hearing. Sadly, hearing loss related to noise exposure isn’t curable.

What Is 'Hearing Loss'?

The World Health Organisation defines hearing loss as follows:

“A person who is not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing – hearing thresholds of 20 dB or better in both ears – is said to have hearing loss.”

Simply put, if you struggle to hear as well as other people in your life, you may have some form of hearing loss.

Struggling to hear these days? 

Request a 30-day FREE Trial on all aids now!

The Levels of Hearing Loss

There are four levels of hearing loss, which are based on the degree or severity of the loss:

  1. Mild hearing loss: difficulty hearing sounds that are quieter than 25-40 dB. You may have difficulty following conversations in noisy environments or hearing speech from a distance.
  2. Moderate hearing loss: difficulty hearing sounds that are quieter than 41-70 dB. You may struggle to understand speech, especially in noisy environments.
  3. Severe hearing loss: difficulty hearing sounds that are quieter than 71-90 dB. You may only be able to hear loud noises, such as a car horn or a door slamming.
  4. Profound hearing loss: difficulty hearing sounds that are quieter than 91 dB or more. You may not be able to hear any sounds at all, including speech or loud noises.

Real reviews from real customers

Types of Hearing Loss FAQs

One of the first questions people with hearing loss have is what type of hearing loss they have.

Hearing loss is classified into two types: sensorineural and conductive.

It’s easy to mistake conductive hearing loss for sensorineural hearing loss because both can cause hearing loss.

The fundamental distinction between the two is that conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear, whereas sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged.

If you’re like most people, you probably confuse the phrase “hearing loss” with “deafness.”

Hearing loss and deafness are sometimes used interchangeably, however, there is a significant distinction between the two.

Deafness and hearing loss are both disorders that impair a person’s ability to hear.

Still, there are some significant variations between the two.

Hearing loss is often defined by a decline in hearing capacity, whereas deafness is defined by a total inability to hear.

Hearing loss can be caused by several circumstances, including loud noise exposure, certain drugs, and ageing changes in the ear.

Hearing loss is a prevalent issue that can have a negative influence on a person’s quality of life.

Hearing loss is classified into three kinds, each with its own set of causes and treatment possibilities.

There are three different forms of hearing loss: mixed, conductive, and sensorineural.

Sensorineural hearing loss results from injury to the auditory nerve or the inner ear.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot pass from the outside or middle ear to the inner ear.

Conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss are both types of mixed hearing loss.

It is fairly unusual for our hearing to deteriorate as we age.

But what precisely happens when this occurs? Hearing loss is a prevalent issue that affects one in every three adults over the age of 65.

Age-related hearing loss is classified into two types: conductive and sensorineural.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear is damaged, whereas sensorineural hearing loss happens when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged.

Book your FREE hearing check