Conductive Hearing Loss
Occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones, or ossicles, of the middle ear. It usually involves a reduction in sound level, or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can often be medically or surgically corrected.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear (retrocochlear) to the brain. It cannot be medically or surgically corrected and is a permanent loss. This type of loss not only involves a reduction in sound level, or the ability to hear faint sounds, but it also affects the ability to hear clearly and understand speech.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.