Blockage of the ear canal (like wax or a foreign object), defects of the ear drum (like a hole) or issues with the middle part of the ear (like an ear infection or stiffening of the middle ear bones) can hamper the conduction of soundwaves into the inner part of the ear. No surprise then that when a hearing loss is caused by one of these issues, it is termed a conductive hearing loss. In most instances, a conductive hearing loss can be reversed with medical intervention.
Issues with the inner part of the ear (like damage to the hair-like nerve endings) or damage to the hearing nerve itself (like a tumor) or damage to the hearing center of the brain (like due to concussion) will cause a sensorineural type hearing loss. Sensorineural type hearing loss is the most common type. In adults sensorineural type hearing loss more commonly is due to the aging process or noise exposure, both cause damage to the hair-like nerve endings. This type of hearing loss is most often treated with the use of hearing aids.