Mixed Hearing Loss

Frequently, a patient experiences two or more types of hearing impairment, a problem called mixed hearing loss. For practical purposes this term is used only when both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are present in the same ear. However, the emphasis is on the conductive hearing loss because available therapy is so much more effective for this group.

Consequently, the otologic surgeon has a special interest in cases of mixed hearing loss in which there is primarily a conductive loss complicated by some sensorineural damage. Each type of hearing loss has specific distinctive characteristics which make it possible to classify in the cast majority of cases. These features are identified through a comprehensive history, physical examination, hearing tests, and sometimes other tests.