How do we hear?
To understand hearing loss, first we need to understand how sound works. A sound starts as a movement of air that creates soundwaves. When soundwaves are picked up by the outer part of our ear, the process of hearing begins. A mechanical process sends the soundwave to the inner ear, which sets up an electrical process that activates our brain to perceive it as sound.
In other words, our sense of hearing is a complex process in which both mechanical and electrical (nerve) systems work together. If one or more parts of those systems are interrupted, we may experience hearing loss.
Types and causes of hearing loss
The causes of hearing loss vary and the type of hearing loss is determined by the part of the ear in which the impairment occurs. There are generally three different types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss.
Click the buttons below to learn more about each type: