What type of hearing loss do I have?

It’s natural to become concerned when you have trouble with either your hearing level or clarity, or possibly a combination of both! We rely on auditory input every day for fundamental things like conversations and entertainment, so finding a fix can mean answering the question, ‘what type of hearing loss do I have?’

Firstly, don’t panic and assume the worst. The human auditory system is intricate and even the slightest inflammation can affect it. Also, getting professional advice can help identify and treat hearing loss.

What’s meant by hearing loss?

Before discussing the different types of hearing loss, let’s look at the more common signs and symptoms.

First, you may find that sounds you could once hear clearly have become muffled (such as the phone ringing), you have to turn the TV volume up higher in order to hear it and you ask people to repeat the things they say to you frequently. You may also miss people calling your name or speaking to you from a distance.

However, hearing loss can also refer to difficulties with hearing certain pitches, experiencing ringing in the ears and additional symptoms such as pressure or pain around the sides of your head.

No matter your symptoms, all of this information is useful when diagnosing hearing loss.

Common causes of hearing loss

The different types of hearing loss are:

  • Sensorineural
  • Auditory processing disorders
  • Conductive


It is possible to have a combination of the above.

Sensorineural: Sensorineural refers to hearing problems caused by a birth defect or a trauma that has damaged the delicate mechanisms involved in collecting and transmitting sound.

Auditory processing disorders: An auditory processing disorder is a neurological issue that makes identifying different sounds a challenge.

Conductive: Most hearing loss is less complex and is conductive. This means something is blocking sound from travelling inwards properly. Within this category of hearing loss are infections that cause swelling in your ear’s membranes and the commonplace problem of ear wax build-up in the outer ear.

Conductive hearing loss can involve your middle ear too, where a fluid buildup can prevent sound. In young children, you may hear it referred to as ‘glue ear’ There are ways to drain this fluid and medicines can clear infections that cause it.

Another type of conductive hearing loss is a ruptured eardrum from excessive pressure. A previous eardrum tear can heal as scar tissue that interferes with sound too.

Professional advice on ‘What type of hearing loss do I have?’

So, when should you seek advice on hearing loss? If your difficulties are significant, have no obvious cause or are accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, then please seek help.

A professional test and ear examination may be the only way to accurately diagnose the issue. Then, if the damage is irreparable, you can get friendly, professional advice on hearing aids in Livingston, from the specialist team at Almond.

Contact us for hearing tests in Livingstone today or for more insights on your auditory issues.