There are 3 main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed (both sensorineural and conductive). These types of hearing loss can be present at birth (congenital). Or they can occur after birth (acquired).
This is a loss of function in the inner ear or with the connection to the brain. Causes of this type of hearing loss include:
Conditions that are present at birth (congenital) such as:
Genetic factors and syndromes the child has at birth
Conditions that occur after birth (acquired) such as:
Loud noise exposure
Damage from certain medicines that can be harmful to the ears
Low birth weight or prematurity
This is a problem in the outer or middle ear where sound waves are not sent to the inner ear correctly. It is the most common type of hearing loss in children. It often develops after birth. Factors that may cause this type of hearing loss are:
Congenital conditions such as:
Problems with the outer ear
Problems with the eardrum
Problems with the outside ear canal
Problems with the 3 tiny bones that send sound waves to the middle ear (ossicles)
Acquired conditions such as:
Something gets stuck in the ear canal, such as beads or popcorn kernels
Middle ear tumors
Problems with the eustachian tube
Ongoing (chronic) ear infections with fluid in the middle ear
Ruptured eardrum (perforated eardrum)
This is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. There is damage to the outer, middle, or inner ear, or the auditory nerve.
Article Last Updated: April 16, 2019
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