Hearing loss can affect people of all ages from infants (born with hearing loss), young children, where glue ear is a common cause, through to older people with age related loss.
Hearing loss can be divided into two broad groups:
Conductive loss where there is blockage of the normal mechanical movement of the ear drum and middle ear bones and
Sensorineural loss where the problem lies within the cochlea (the part of the ear that converts mechanical sound waves into electrical nerve impulses) – see diagram below
In general conductive losses can often be corrected by some form of surgical intervention whereas sensorineural losses are best treated with hearing aids.