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Understanding Deafness : Hearing Loss

For us to hear sound, all parts of the hearing system must work efficiently. Deafness occurs when at least one part is not working properly.

Graphical diagram displaying hearing thresholdsA part can be missing, misshaped, or damaged. Other parts may work correctly, but without all parts working together hearing is impaired. There are different types of hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss usually results from conditions of the external or middle ear. This type of hearing loss may be surgically correctable and hearing aids are usually very effective.

Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused when the hair cells in the cochlea are damaged or absent. Hearing loss can vary in severity from a mild loss to a total loss. In most cases hearing aids are very effective. Cochlear implantation can be helpful to patients who receive little or no benefit from even the most powerful hearing aids.