Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear and interferes with the process by which the brain registers and hears sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noise, aging (presbycusis), malformation of the inner ear, genetic hearing loss, virus, head trauma, Meniere’s disease, or otosclerosis.
Conductive hearing loss affects the outer and middle parts of the ear, by which sound waves enter the ear. It is caused when there are problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or the malleus, incus, and stapes bones of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss may be caused by congenital conditions, ear infection, fluid in the middle ear, poor Eustachian tube function, benign tumors, perforation in the eardrum, or impacted earwax.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, affecting various parts of the ear.