Combined hearing loss
Combined hearing loss is when a conductive hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss occur together. Consequently, both the outer and inner ear are impaired. In combined hearing loss, two functional areas are therefore impaired - on the one hand, transmission from the outer to the inner ear, and on the other hand, sound processing within the inner ear. Thus, sound cannot be transmitted to the brain, and no auditory impression is produced.
Combination hearing loss: symptoms
The main symptom of combined hearing loss is limited hearing. The severity of hearing loss varies from mild to moderate to severe. It can occur either unilaterally or bilaterally, i.e., in only one ear or in both ears at the same time.
Combined hearing loss: audiogram
The audiogram also reflects the combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss: both the air conduction curve (line with circles) and the bone conduction curve are prominent. If it were a pure conductive hearing loss, the bone conduction would be unremarkable. In the case of an exclusive disorder in sound perception, bone and air conduction lines would be closer together.
Combined hearing loss causes
The possible causes correspond to the reasons for conductive or sensorineural hearing loss:
- Genetic Predisposition
- Age-related wear and tear
- Excessive or long-term noise exposure.
- Single medication
- Skull trauma
- Ear infections
- Malformation of the inner, outer, or middle ear
- Liquid in the middle ear
Combined hearing loss treatment
In the case of combined hearing loss, appropriate treatment measures must be taken in the areas of both sound conduction and sound perception. This is the only way to bring about a comprehensive improvement in symptoms.
Sound conduction: Partially treatable by medical intervention or with medication.
Sound sensation: Can usually be treated well with hearing aids.
In addition, implants are sometimes offered to improve the symptoms. Which combination of treatment methods is actually promising and feasible, however, must be evaluated individually.