Hearing Loss Overview
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Hearing loss is the total or partial inability to hear sound in one or both ears. Hearing loss falls into two major categories. The first category, called conductive hearing loss, occurs in the outer and middle ear, when the transmission of sound vibrations is prevented from reaching the inner ear.
Examples of this are having too much wax in the ear, a hole in the eardrum, or fluid behind the eardrum. The second category, called sensory-neural hearing loss, occurs in the inner ear, when sound vibrations are unable to be converted into electrical signals that the brain can process. An example of this is hearing that is diminished or lost due to exposure to loud noise, genetics, medications, or the natural aging process. You and your doctor or hearing profressional may discuss the many possible options for improving hearing.