Types of hearing loss (1415)

Key points below

Hearing loss can happen in any part of the ear. This includes the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Hearing loss can happen in one or more one parts of the ear. Each type of hearing loss has different treatment options.

Conductive Hearing Loss

This is when sound cannot get through the outer or middle ear. Conductive hearing loss makes sounds quieter. The amount of hearing loss and the treatment depend on the cause. Common causes include:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This is a permanent hearing loss in the inner ear. This hearing loss can be congenital (born with it). It may be acquired (hearing loss happened sometime after birth). Sensorineural hearing loss may get worse over time. Common causes include:

Mixed Hearing Loss

A mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. It can be short term if the child has an ear infection in the middle ear. It can also be permanent.

Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)

This is a hearing problem between the cochlea and the hearing nerve or with the hearing nerve itself. The signals are not sent to the brain all the time. Common causes of include:

The amount of dysfunction in a person with ANSD may be different and can change over time.

First, your child’s hearing threshold will be tested. This is the softest level your child detects sound. This is tested in a sound booth. It may take several appointment to get this information.

For children with ANSD in one ear:

For children with ANSD in both ears:

For children with responses in the mild to severe hearing loss range:

For children with responses in the profound hearing loss range:

We may make a referral to the cochlear implant team.

A child may move from wearing a hearing aid to being a cochlear implant candidate. This happens if they have poor progress in speech or speech understanding while using hearing aids.

For more health and wellness information

Check out this resource: https://kidshealth.org/ChildrensWi/en/parents


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.