Some sort of outer or middle ear problem is associated with low-frequency hearing loss. The type of hearing loss that is low frequency is called conductive. There are other types of hearing loss, too, which are sensorineural and mixed.
First, know that you have the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The outer ear harnesses sound and sends it to the middle ear. The middle ear bones and eardrum make up the middle ear, and it passes sound to the inner ear. And the inner ear holds the nerve fibers and nerve cells that send hearing information to the brain.
The differences between low- and high-frequency hearing loss
Low-frequency loss hearing--the conductive kind--does occur, but it is less common than high-frequency hearing loss--which is sensorineural. The aging process and exposure to loud sounds bring about high-frequency hearing loss, which occurs in the inner ear.
Conductive hearing loss affects the middle ear, usually, and is a sign that something physical is going on with the eardrum or middle ear space. Sound is not being conducted to the inner ear properly. There could be fluid/infection in the inner ear, negative pressure in the middle ear, scarring of the eardrum, holes in the eardrum, or a buildup of calcium on the middle ear bones. Conductive hearing loss can usually be treated with little or no long-term effects on hearing. Conductive hearing loss also refers to problems with the inner ear and brain, although it is less common.
Low-frequency hearing loss can move to include high-frequency hearing loss over time. There is also mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of the conductive and sensorineural types.
For more information on hearing loss, please contact your hearing loss specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Diseases or disorders that limit the transmission of sound through the outer or middle ear may cause conductive hearing loss. This hearing loss can usually be treated medically or surgically. In some cases, a hearing instrument is also indicated and can provide sufficient hearing improvement.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear or neural pathways. In this case, sound is transmitted through the outer and middle ears, but the inner ear is less efficient in transmitting the sound. This type of loss usually occurs due to damages to the hair cells or to the fine nerve endings inside the cochlea. This leads to reduced perception of sound intensity and quality. This type of hearing loss is usually compensated with a hearing instrument that amplifies sound to overcome the decrease in hearing sensitivity.
Combined Hearing Loss
Combined hearing loss is the simultaneous occurrence of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, which is also referred to as mixed hearing loss. Treatment options for this type of impairment include both medical intervention and hearing instruments.
If you suffer from hearing loss, contact us for a free consultation.