Mixed hearing loss is a hearing loss that has both conductive and sensorineural components. This means that there is damage to both the outer and/or middle ear, as well as the inner ear.
What Causes Mixed Hearing Loss?
There are a number of causes of mixed hearing loss, including:
- Earwax buildup: Earwax can block the ear canal, making it difficult for sound waves to reach the inner ear.
- Middle ear infection: A middle ear infection can cause inflammation and swelling of the middle ear, which can reduce the ability of the ossicles to transmit sound waves to the inner ear.
- Barotrauma: Barotrauma is a condition that occurs when the pressure in the middle ear is not equal to the pressure in the atmosphere. This can happen when you travel in an airplane or scuba dive.
- Ossicular chain disorders: Ossicular chain disorders are problems with the ossicles, the three tiny bones that transmit sound waves from the eardrum to the inner ear.
- Cholesteatoma: Cholesteatoma is a benign growth that can develop in the middle ear. It can cause hearing loss and other problems.
- Aging: As we age, the bones in the middle ear can become less flexible, which can lead to conductive hearing loss.
What Are the Symptoms of Mixed Hearing Loss?
The symptoms of mixed hearing loss vary depending on the severity of the hearing loss and the underlying cause. However, some common symptoms include:
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
- Difficulty understanding speech
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Ear pain
Is Mixed Hearing Loss Treatable?
The treatment for mixed hearing loss depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, the hearing loss may be treated with medication or surgery. In other cases, hearing aids or cochlear implants may be necessary to improve hearing.
What Disease Can Result in Mixed Hearing Loss?
There are a number of diseases that can result in mixed hearing loss, including:
- Otosclerosis: Otosclerosis is a condition that causes the bones in the middle ear to become calcified. This can lead to conductive hearing loss.
- Meniere’s disease: Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo.
- Congenital hearing loss: Congenital hearing loss is hearing loss that is present at birth. It can be caused by a number of factors, including genetic disorders, infections, and exposure to certain medications or chemicals during pregnancy.
If you have any concerns about mixed hearing loss, it is important to see an audiologist or other healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will be able to assess your hearing and recommend the best treatment for you.