Hearing loss takes several forms—and each is affected by the ears several pathways. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, a little knowledge can go a long way. Being able to classify different types of hearing loss is important, and understanding different causes can assist treatment methods.

Take a look at the following types of hearing loss. While each is caused by different factors, each should be noted by yourself and an audiologist to maintain your hearing health.

Conductive Hearing Loss

When your middle and inner ear face obstructions, your hearing may suffer. Conductive hearing loss occurs when a condition interferes with your ear’s basic transmissions. In short: Your ear can’t carry sound waves well.

Fortunately, conductive hearing loss is incredibly treatable. When sound waves can’t be transmitted effectively, medical or surgical assistance can benefit you. Additionally, if these methods aren’t working, a hearing aid is entirely useful for amplifying dulled sound waves.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

When sensorineural hearing loss occurs, the inner ear may be damaged. Additionally the acoustic nerve may be suffering damage. When “nerve deafness” occurs, the ear’s cochlea—responsible for relaying noise vibrations to your inner-ear’s main nerve—have difficulty transmitting sounds.

Sensorineural hearing loss can occur from a variety of impairments. While sensorineural hearing restoration is difficult, several cases may be remedied. A lot of research pertaining to sensorineural hearing loss is still needed, though new, innovative treatments are likely.

Central Hearing Loss

Central hearing loss occurs when the central nervous system has difficulty interpreting sounds. Not entirely connected to the ear’s main functions, central hearing loss is closely related to one’s ability to perceive speech, understand cues and decode audible information.

If you have difficulty hearing during multiple conversations—or, if you’ve experienced difficulty studying with surrounding noise, minor central hearing loss may be at play. Fortunately, routine hearing tests are available, and maintaining daily functions is possible if you encounter central hearing loss.

Functional Hearing Loss

Psychological and emotional problems underline functional hearing loss. When functional hearing loss occurs, the individual actually perceives surrounding noises—though they may appear oblivious. Functional hearing loss occurs for a variety of reasons, and physician discussion is urged if you suspect functional hearing loss.

Unfortunately, functional hearing loss is rarely recognized, as cognitive and emotional elements may be blocking one’s ability to understand their impairment. Functional hearing loss normally requires hearing therapy, and it may not be discovered until a full hearing exam is administered

Mixed Hearing Loss

The world isn’t black and white, and hearing loss isn’t either! If you’re experiencing several hearing loss symptoms, you may be experiencing more than one type of hearing loss. When this occurs, mixed hearing loss is responsible for both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

While mixed hearing loss is, as implied, mixed, your potential treatments needn’t be overly complex. Mixed hearing loss is simply a collection of “cause and effect” relationships, and figuring out one type of hearing loss may reveal information about other symptoms.