Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer and middle ear, when the transmission of sound vibrations is prevented from reaching the inner ear. This can happen due to wax build-up, fluid behind the eardrum, or a hole in the eardrum. Sounds seem faint and muffled with conductive hearing loss, which is worse at lower frequencies. Conductive hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically. See the video.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the inner ear, or along the nerve pathways that run from the inner ear to the brain. In a healthy ear, sound travels through the ear canal, and is then processed by the inner ear before passing to the brain. This type of hearing loss occurs when the inner ear is unable to process or send sound vibrations to the brain, due to damaged hair cells. Although medical or surgical correction is usually ineffective, hearing aids can mitigate the effects of sensorineural hearing loss, which is usually caused by exposure to loud noise, genetics, natural aging or medications. See the video.
Dr. Cliff Olson, AuD produces relatable and understandable videos for the hearing industry. In the following video, Dr. Olson discusses the three types of hearing loss, and what causes them.