Nearly one in every five Americans have hearing loss, making it the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. There are many different causes of hearing loss such as noise exposure, aging, fluid in the middle ear, perforated eardrums, impacted earwax, benign tumors, and allergies. In some cases, hearing loss can be corrected through surgery or the use of medicine. In other cases, hearing loss can be temporarily improved through the use of hearing aids.
There are three types of hearing loss: Conductive, Sensorineural, and Mixed Loss. Conductive hearing loss results when there is a problem in the outer or middle ear; sound is unable to reach the nerves in the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve. As a result, sound is unable to be transmitted to the brain. Mixed loss is a mixture of both a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.