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Causes and types of hearing loss

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Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be categorized by which part of the auditory system is affected.  There are 3 basic types of hearing loss:  sensorineural, conductive and mixed

Sensorineural Hearing Loss - occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or hearing nerve in the brain.

Some causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • Aging - gradual age-related hearing loss is called presbycusis
  • Excessive exposure to loud noise
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Certain Medications
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Acoustic Neuroma a tumor which is located between the ear
  • Hereditary factors

Conductive Hearing Loss - occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, ear drum or middle ear.

Some causes of conductive hearing loss include:

  • Infection of the ear canal or middle ear
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
  • Wax build-up
  • Dislocation of the ossicles (three middle-ear bones)
  • Foreign objects in the ear canal
  • Otosclerosis
  • Unusual growths, tumors

Mixed Hearing Loss – occurs when there is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive issues.  In other words, both the middle ear and inner ear are affected.

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Tinnitus and hyperacousis
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

I'm suffering from a tinnitus, which was caused by a MRI months ago! I had nothing before it but began suffering from a tinnitus and hyperacousis straight after the MRI. It seems that the eardrum was not affected. Thanks to Symfona forte I do bear noises a bit better.

I need your help to find litterature or any written source that recognizes that MRI could cause a tinnitus.

Thanks in advance for your prompt reply.

Best wishes

RE: Tinnitus and hyperacusis
Dear Vera – thank you for letting us know about your tinnitus. With regards to if an MRI can cause tinnitus – that’s an interesting question. The American Tinnitus Association ( would be a good resource for you to contact as they are quite involved in tinnitus research and may have some information to share with you. There is not a Canadian equivalent so the ATA would be a good place to start. While we are glad to hear that Symfona Forte makes things more bearable for you, CHS also offers tinnitus consultations. If you would like to meet with an audiologist to discuss your tinnitus and learn about other possible solutions, please contact one of our Hearing Clinics Plus locations.

Rex Banks

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