Before determining the types of hearing loss (or types of deafness) it is important to be clear about what it is. Hearing loss involves the loss of hearing ability, resulting in a difficulty or inability to hear normally. This can be unilateral affecting only one ear, or bilateral if it affects both.

As you know, to measure the level of hearing can be done with simple hearing tests. These assess the degree of hearing loss based on the level of decibels that are perceived. Therefore, before entering the topic of the types of hearing loss, we will differentiate their levels.

Hearing loss levels

The intensity of hearing loss is measured in decibels (dB) and represents the lowest level at which the different sound frequencies are heard:

  • Normalhearing: Soft sounds above 20 dB can be heard.
  • Mild hearing loss: Between 20 and 40 dB in the best ear. It is hard to listen in noisy environments.
  • Moderate hearing loss: Between 40 and 70 dB in the best ear. It is difficult to listen without hearing aids.
  • Severe hearing loss: Between 70 and 90 dB in the best ear. There is a need for hearing aids or a cochlear implant.
  • Deep hearing loss: Between 90 dB and 120 dB. We stop perceiving practically all the sounds and lose the sense of hearing.
  • Cofosis: From 120 dB. The ear is completely lost.

Hearing loss, types

Of course, deafness, in addition to the degree of intensity in decibels, is usually classified according to the location of the lesion that causes them:

  • Conductive or transmission hearing loss: This is deafness caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear, slowing the passage of sound waves to the inner ear. It is the effect of covering the ear and, normally, all sound frequencies are uniformly affected. It usually responds well with medical or surgical treatment or with hearing aids, depending on the cause that causes it.
  • Perceptual or sensorineural hearing loss: These are cases in which the inner ear or the auditory nerve is damaged. It is irreversible and sound frequencies are often affected more than others, being heard in a very distorted way. Depending on the intensity of the hearing loss, a hearing aid or a cochlear implant will be necessary to recover the hearing. When it affects the inner ear, it is a sensorineural sensorineural hearing loss. In this case it can be a transmitter, if the damage falls on the outer hair cells; or transducer, if the damage affects the inner hair cells. When the lesion is nueronal, it is then a retrocochlear sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Mixed hearing loss: These are cases in which there are aspects of conductive and sensory losses due to problems in both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear.
  • Central hearing loss: Refers exclusively to lesions in the auditory centers of the brain.


It is important to maintain our auditory health for the general well-being of our body. That is why it is necessary to visit an audiologist if you feel discomfort or any related cause is detected. One of the hearing centers with the most innovative tools on the market and good professionals is Audiotek . You can find them in Barcelona, ​​El Garraf, Vallès Oriental and Vallès Occidental.


by Abdullah Sam
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