Health & Wellness

Conductive vs Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing loss inability is one of the most common of all adult health problems. What’s scary is that hearing loss can also come sooner than expected.

You, a friend, or a family member may have noticed some hearing loss in recent months or years. If so, you might have wondered at its causes.

Hearing loss comes in several forms. You may already know the two main categories — conductive and sensorineural.

But what are the differences between conductive vs sensorineural hearing loss? Read on to learn more.


Noise Damage or Illness

Conductive hearing loss involves damage or illness to the outer or middle ear. It can prevent sound waves from being conducted to the inner ear.

This loss is due to a buildup of fluid and wax in the ear canal. It is usually treated medically or surgically, and relief of symptoms is typically quick after treatment.

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage or illness to the inner ear or auditory nerve. It affects the neural receptors responsible for converting sound waves into electrical impulses and sending them to the brain. 

Individuals Lifestyle

How an individual’s lifestyle affects these two types of hearing loss varies. Conductive hearing loss is often the result of an infection or blockage of the ear canal. You can improve it with medications or surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss, however, is usually caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells and is generally permanent. To protect against this type, an individual’s lifestyle habits, such as listening to loud music or attending loud concerts, should be kept to a minimum.

Physical Health

Conductive and sensorineural hearing loss both have physical health implications for those affected. Abnormalities in the middle and outer ear structures cause conductive hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear, most commonly from aging, loud noise, or disease.

In addition to the implications for communication, both types of hearing loss can impact one’s overall physical health. Poor hearing makes it harder to interact with others and can contribute to feelings of social isolation. Those with hearing loss have an increased risk of physical accidents and can have difficulty understanding medical advice.

It is essential for individuals affected by hearing loss to explore treatment options and exercise a team-based approach to their care. Check out this hearing aid programming to empower you to partake in the vibrant sounds of life. It enables you to connect with people, listen to music, and enjoy the sounds of the natural world.


For instance, some genetic conditions, such as Stickler syndrome and Pendred syndrome, can cause hearing loss due to the improper development of the ear structures, such as the:

  • outer ear
  • middle ear
  • inner ear

In some cases, the genetic mutation can also affect the cochlea, the nerve transmitting sound signals to the brain. Genetics plays a significant role in both Conductive and Sensorineural hearing loss, with its effects varying depending on the type of mutation.

Understand the Differences Between Conductive vs Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Overall, Conductive vs Sensorineural Hearing Loss both have their drawbacks and treatments. Speaking to an ear, nose, and throat doctor is essential to determine the best option for your individual needs. Make sure to ask questions and become informed about your hearing loss journey. 

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