Understanding Types of Hearing Loss and The Right Treatments

The ability to hear daily conversations, birds singing in the morning or the joyful laughter of friends and family is frequently taken for granted. One may not realise how fortunate they are to be able to hear those sounds until they experience hearing difficulty. The misery increases, as our world is designed for people with healthy hearing. 

With most information being shared through spoken language, engaging in social interactions may be daunting, thus increasing the risk of social withdrawal. Withdrawing from social interactions is common in people with hearing impairment. 

As spoken language is the most common mode of communication, they may face difficulty to grasp verbal messages and feel isolated from their peers. Such events may be familiar if you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss. 

Now that you’re here, let’s look at the different types of hearing loss and find the right hearing solutions that work.

About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a condition that makes someone unable to hear certain sounds. Individuals with healthy hearing should be able to hear sounds ranging from 125 to 8000 Hz and -10 to 125 dB without any problems. 

On the other hand, people affected with the most common type of hearing loss generally find it difficult to hear higher-pitched sounds (i.e., 2000 to 8000 Hz) without the sound’s volume increasing (15 and above dB rates). That means, hearing certain sounds, such as children’s or women’s voices may become a problem for them. In turn, they may ask the speaker to speak louder for them to hear clearly.

How Does Hearing Loss Emerge?

Hearing loss can develop from a variety of causes, including childbirth and other factors that develop later in life. Let’s examine how hearing impairment emerges in greater detail, as explained below:


Hearing impairment may emerge during childbirth as a result of multiple factors. That includes genetics, prenatal infections, and certain medications taken during pregnancy. Early detection during childbirth of congenital hearing impairment is recommended. Hence, many infants go through hearing screenings to check for the presence of hearing difficulties.  

This allows parents to determine the appropriate treatments for their children. By getting the right treatments, children can effectively develop communication skills appropriate for their age.

Developed later in life

Certain factors that cause hearing impairment may develop later in life. These factors include exposure to loud noises, underlying medical conditions, and ageing. Exposure to loud noises, such as raging machine sounds or music at high volumes may damage the delicate hair cells in the ears. 

When the delicate hair cells in the ears deteriorate, it will lead to hearing difficulty over time. In addition, underlying medical conditions, such as Meningitis, Meniere’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases may also lead to hearing impairment. This is because these medical conditions may constrict blood flow to the inner ear, resulting in gradual hearing loss. 

Finally, ageing is another factor that causes hearing impairment. It’s natural for human inner ear cells to die off as they get older. This results in gradual difficulty of hearing, which is common in people aged 50 and above.

3 Types of Hearing Loss

There are mainly 3 types of hearing loss that occur. That includes sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. These hearing impairment groups may respond differently to sounds, thus requiring different treatments. Let’s take a look at these types of hearing loss in greater detail below:

1. Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common type of hearing impairment. It is caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain.  

Several factors contribute to SNHL, including ageing, exposure to loud noises, and genetics. Though other factors like medications and infections may also play a role in its development. Having SNHL, someone may exhibit several symptoms, such as difficulty in understanding speech in noisy environments and difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds.

2. Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss (CHL) is the type of hearing impairment that occurs when sound waves are not conducted properly through the outer or middle ear

Several factors contribute to this condition, including ear canal blockage, eardrum damage, and issues within the middle or outer ear. When someone has CHL, they may have muffled hearing, which makes them find it difficult to hear in noisy environments. Another sign of CHL is constant pain or discomfort in the ears. 

3. Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of SNHL and CHL. When someone has this condition, it means the inner and outer or middle ear nerves are damaged. Several reasons lead someone to have a mixed hearing impairment, such as:

  • Chronic ear infections
  • Head injuries
  • Ageing
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Genetic
  • Certain medications
  • Underlying medical conditions

How is Hearing Impairment Diagnosed?

 Hearing impairment is diagnosed through the Pure Tone Audiometric (PTA) test. Using the test, an audiologist can examine how both ears respond to sound at multiple frequencies.  Clients will receive their results the same day they take the PTA test. 

The hearing professional or audiologist will then explain the severity or the possibility of hearing impairment based on the audiogram. Aside from explaining the test outcomes, the audiologist will also suggest hearing solutions that work for certain conditions. That includes hearing aids, listening rehabilitation, cochlear implants, or other relevant options.

Hearing Impairment Degrees

Hearing impairment is a spectrum. Everyone experiences this condition differently. That’s why we need to understand the degree of hearing impairment, aside from the types of hearing loss. 

Understanding the hearing impairment degree requires you to identify the difference between Hz and dB rates. Hz is the frequency or pitch of the sounds, whereas dB indicates the intensity or volume of the sound. Healthy human ears can capture sound ranging from 125 to 8000 Hz and -10 to 120 dB. With hearing impairment, the higher the pitch (Hz) the higher the volume (dB) should also be.

Hearing Impairment Degree
Healthy hearing
Minimum hearing -10 to 15 dB
Slight hearing loss
Minimum hearing 16 to 25 dB
Mild hearing loss
Minimum hearing 26 to 40 dB
Moderate hearing loss
Minimum hearing 41 to 55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss
Minimum hearing 56 to 70 dB
Severe hearing loss
Minimum hearing 71 to 90 dB
Profound hearing loss
Minimum hearing above 91 dB

What are the impacts of hearing impairment?

People with healthy hearing may be unaware of the impacts caused by hearing impairment. According to WHO, hearing impairment can have a broad impact, including communication difficulties and delayed language development. 

Communication difficulties and delayed language development will increase the risk of cognitive decline, social isolation, loneliness, and frustration. This is especially true for the elderly with hearing impairment. Now let’s take a look at the impact of hearing impairment in more detail below:

Delayed language development

It may be challenging for children with hearing impairment to develop linguistic skills. They may have no concept of verbal communication as almost all information is shared through spoken language, resulting in delayed language development.

Communication difficulties

The majority of people communicate verbally. When someone has a long-term hearing impairment, it may be difficult for them to comprehend the shared message. As a result, they frequently struggle to understand others or to make themselves understood.

Cognitive decline

Humans communicate to express their ideas, opinions, and knowledge. When someone has a prolonged hearing impairment, it may be difficult for them to engage in social interactions, resulting in stagnant, if not declining cognitive skills.

Social isolation

Prolonged hearing impairment can make a person feel inferior in comparison to their social peers. They may believe that no one understands them, resulting in a feeling of being left out by friends and family.


Constantly feeling like nobody understands them, combined with frequent withdrawal from social peers, can make someone experience loneliness. This is particularly true for older generations, which can be detrimental to their mental health.


Being unable to clearly understand what is going on around them frequently leads someone with hearing impairment to frustration. It can be painful for them to be isolated from social groups and have no idea what everyone is talking about.

What Are The Treatments For Hearing Impairment?

Depending on the severity and the types of hearing loss, different treatments may work to reduce symptoms, resulting in better hearing. So, what are the hearing treatments? We’ll go over them in more detail below.

Earwax removal

Earwax removal is the first approach to treating hearing impairment. In some cases, earwax can block the ear canal, resulting in ineffective hearing. Hence why a hearing professional will conduct Otoscopy before performing the PTA to check for the possibility of earwax build-up.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are helpful to improve hearing. They work by increasing the sound waves, which help the ear nerves to transmit sounds more effectively to the brain. People with Sensorineural hearing loss can benefit from high-quality hearing aids

They can now choose from a wide range of options, depending on their requirements and preferences. With Conductive Hearing Loss and Mixed Hearing Loss, hearing aids are recommended after being cleared by an ENT doctor.

Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants involve surgically placing a medical device into the inner ear or cochlea. This procedure is carried out to improve hearing in people who see little to no improvements from hearing aids. 

Once the medical device is implanted, people who opt for this treatment will also need an external speech processor, which serves as the sound detector. The sounds will be digitised and transmitted via magnet into the internal implants to stimulate the auditory nerve fibres. 

Final Thoughts

There are mainly three types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Experiencing any of these hearing impairments can have detrimental impacts on one’s quality of life. That is where a hearing test can be a solution. 

By detecting signs of hearing impairment early, you or your loved ones can receive the appropriate treatments and enjoy a better life with better hearing. In cases hearing aids are needed, you or your loved ones can also choose from a variety of options available at The Listening Lab. We provide hearing aids from leading brands, such as SigniaWidexReSound, and PhonakContact us and see how we can help you today!

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

Consult our hearing
specialist and let us
assist you.

Vector (1)

Schedule a video consultation for this
service and let our hearing specialist
assist you with this service