- Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve. This occurs naturally with age or as a result of injury.
- Conductive hearing loss happens when sounds are unable to pass from your outer ear to your inner ear, often because of a blockage such as earwax or glue ear.
Age is the biggest single cause of hearing loss. Hearing loss that develops as a result of getting older is often known as age-related hearing loss.
Most people begin to lose a small amount of their hearing from around 40 years of age. This hearing loss increases as you get older. By the age of 80, most people have significant hearing problems.
Another common cause of hearing loss is damage to the ear from repeated exposure to loud noises over time. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss, and it occurs when the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea become damaged.
Other types of sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs if the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea are damaged, or as a result of damage to the auditory nerve (which transmits sound to the brain). In some cases, both may be damaged.
Hearing loss caused by age and exposure to loud noises are both types of sensorineural hearing loss.