Hearing loss is a common problem, especially for aging Americans. If you want to better protect your hearing, you need to understand the types of hearing loss, how to prevent them, and if there is any way to improve symptoms of hearing loss. To learn more, check out these two types of hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. The inner ear has nerves that send signals to the brain to tell you what you hear. If these nerves are damaged, it can lead to sensorineural hearing loss. There are some ways to avoid sensorineural hearing loss. You want to avoid listening to loud sounds and avoid any drugs or medications that may affect hearing.

Some causes are harder or impossible to avoid. For example, damage to the inner ear, damage to the head, illness, and a structural issue could lead to sensorineural hearing loss. Unfortunately, this type of hearing loss has no real cure. Surgery and other treatments don't seem to improve hearing but hearing aids may help.

If you start to develop sensorineural hearing loss, you may have a hard time hearing a specific person or sound when there is a lot of background noise. You may also have a hard time hearing higher-pitched voices (like those of women and kids). Sounds may seem muffled, and you may even experience dizziness/balance problems.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss prevents sounds from reaching your inner ear, so that signal is never sent to the brain. Some symptoms are similar to sensorineural hearing loss, such as dizziness, muffled hearing, etc. However, you may also have pain and fluid drainage near the ear.

This is because conductive hearing loss is often caused by a blockage or infection. Common causes include ear infection, fluid backup from allergies, earwax buildup, tumors, and foreign objects in the ear. Luckily, this type of hearing loss often responds well to treatment. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, but in many cases, simply fixing the infection or cleaning the ears can help.

Hearing loss can be scary, especially if you don't know what caused it. In some cases, hearing loss can be avoided by caring for your ears and keeping them healthy, but genetics, injuries, and other factors that are out of your control can also affect hearing. If you would like to know more, or if you are ready for a hearing test, contact a provider in your area today.