Types of hearing loss

Whether you were born with impaired hearing or you experienced a gradual loss with age, you can benefit from having hearing aids fitted.

Causes and characteristics

To treat hearing loss effectively we need to define the type of hearing loss that the person
has. We do this using these three criteria.

  • When did it occur?

    Congenital hearing loss is present at birth and is caused by genetic factors, maternal health problems or birth injuries
    Acquired hearing loss begins after birth

  • Is it a temporary condition?

    A medical condition such as a blockage of ear wax can cause hearing loss
    Noise-induced hearing loss can result from exposure to very loud noise. This is also called temporary threshold shift

  • Which part of the ear?

    Conductive hearing loss usually comes from a disruption of the sound's path to the inner ear from the outer or middle ear
    Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the delicate nerve fibres of the inner ear become damaged


Tinnitus is not a type of hearing loss, but many people who suffer tinnitus also have hearing loss without knowing it. Hearing aids and sound therapy can relieve some of the effects of this symptom.

More about Tinnitus

Sensorineural hearing loss

This is the most common type of hearing loss and is usually permanent. Sufferers experience that the clarity and amplification of sounds are affected, making people's voices sound like they are mumbling or distorted. It is most commonly caused by the natural processes of aging but can also result from excessive exposure to noise. 

Learn more

Congenital hearing loss

Some people are born with hearing loss, which is caused either by genetic
factors, during pregnancy, or during childbirth. People with congenital hearing
loss suffer from a loss of functionality in the hearing organs, which may only
become apparent later in life. Since it can affect a child’s development, it is very
important to begin treating it quickly.

Learn more

  • Treating hearing loss

  • Signs of hearing loss

  • How to test for hearing loss


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hearing centre

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