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Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer and middle ear, when the transmission of sound vibrations is prevented from reaching the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss, occurs in the inner ear (D), when sound vibrations are unable to be converted into electrical signals that the brain can process. Conductive hearing loss is a problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss originates in the inner ear, where the hair cells of the Cochlea become damaged or missing. Answer a few questions and one of our experts will be in touch, we help lots of people just like you every month.
There are a number of common causes of hearing loss, some which may be temporary blockages or abnormal growths, while others lead to permanent impairment because irreversible hearing damage has occurred. It is crucial to recognise the differences rather than ignore the symptoms under the misapprehension that it’s probably due to a build-up of earwax! To understand the vital difference it’s important to know the basic mechanism of how the ear works.
Vibrating air molecules enter the outer ear and travel through the ear canal to activate the eardrum and the attached tiny bones in the middle ear.


Long-term exposure to continuous excessive loud noise is the chief cause of noise induced hearing loss, most commonly found in the workplace, and known as industrial deafness. A sudden excessively loud noise – known as ‘acoustic trauma’ –creates a powerful sound wave which can rupture an eardrum or damage the inner ear. Other known types of physical damage result from severe head damage or trauma, which can dislocate middle-ear bones or cause nerve damage to cause permanent hearing loss, sudden changes in pressure when flying or water diving. Blockage of the ear canal are most commonly the build up of ear wax but can include noncancerous growths and tumours can grow in the inner ear.
Some medicines are known to cause hearing loss as a potential side effect, which may include regular use of aspirin, types of antibiotics and cancer drugs.
Types of chronic diseases can cause hearing loss by interrupting blood flow to the inner ear or the brain, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Hearing weakens as a natural part of the aging process due to the progressive loss of inner-ear hair cells. This can happen due to wax build-up (A), fluid behind the eardrum (B), or a hole in the eardrum (C). It can destroy your quality of life, personal relationships, and health…but knowing the facts will help you act before the damage is overwhelming.


To enhance your browsing experience, please upgrade to a more current browser such as Firefox, Safari or update to Internet Explorer 9. The vibrations are relayed to fluid in the cochlea located in the inner ear where microscopic hairs send nerve signals via the auditory nerve to the brain where they are decoded into recognisable sounds. Over a period of time, the microscopic hairs in the cochlea of the inner ear are no longer able to function under the constant excessive bombardment and are permanently damaged. Conditions such as tinnitus, heard as a ringing, whistling or rushing in the ears can be the prolonged after effect – from hours or weeks to permanently – is typically caused by exposure to excessive noise levels at rock music venues, as well as constant exposure to noisy machinery, tools or vehicles within the workplace. At any stage in the journey, if pathways are blocked or parts damaged, loss of hearing will be the result.



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