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Mixed Hearing Loss - How To Treat It?

Written and reviewed by
M.Sc - Audiology, BASLP
Audiologist, Delhi  •  11 years experience
Mixed Hearing Loss - How To Treat It?

The sense of hearing is a complex one. The ears are divided into three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. While the outer ear sends the sound to the middle of the ear, the middle ear sends the same to the inner ear through the conductor. The inner ear in turn sends the auditory signal to the brain where the signal is processed and gives rise to a sense of hearing.

Problems in hearings can arise if there is a problem in any of these parts. However, more often than not it is the middle or inner ear that is affected. However, there may also be situations when there are problems in both the middle and the inner ear. In that case, it is known as a mixed hearing loss.

What is Mixed Hearing? 

Loss If there is damage to the middle ear, it may precipitate a conductive hearing loss. Now, in addition to that, if there is a sensorineural problem, then it gives rise to mixed hearing. So, in the case of a mixed hearing loss, all the parts of the ear and even the brain may be involved. There may be damage to the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, as well as the auditory nerve.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Since mixed hearing loss may result from damage to any part of the ear, it is necessary that the causes be grouped into different categories.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural loss may result from drugs, different illnesses, head trauma, malformation of the inner ear etc. Genetic predisposition may also precipitate such problems.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Such type of hearing loss may result from excessive deposition of earwax, ear infections, perforation in eardrums, malformation of the middle or outer ear, as well as problems with the fluid in the middle ear.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Reduced hearing in either or both ears is considered to be delineating symptoms of mixed hearing loss.

Treatment

Since mixed hearing loss can result from sensorineural failure as well as damage to outer or middle ear, treatment needs to be divided into different groups too. ● To treat Conductive Hearing Loss, doctors can use surgical or medical options.

● For sensorineural hearing loss, doctors usually prescribe hearing aids. This indicates that treatment for mixed hearing loss may include treatment for conductive hearing loss as well as that for sensorineural hearing loss. So, it is usually a combination of both medical and surgical options. Physicians may prescribe both medicines and hearing aids or resort to surgical interventions and also prescribe hearing aids. Sometimes, physicians use special hearing aids or implants to treat mixed hearing loss.

Conclusion

In case a person is sensing reduced hearing in one or both ears, he/she needs to seek medical advice. It may be a symptom of mixed hearing loss. Getting in touch with an experienced physician is the first step towards that.

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