Published: Feb. 15, 2010
Updated: Feb. 15, 2010
There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural (or a mixture of the two). Our otolaryngologists use precise audiological testing and physical examination to determine what type of hearing loss is present in a patient.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not transmitted efficiently through the ear canal and middle ear to the inner ear.
This may be due to a problem with:
Some middle ear problems may be due to inadequate function of the Eustachian tube (ET), a tiny tube that connects between the back of the throat and the middle ear space. Small children usually have underdeveloped ET function, and most have mature function by about age six. Many adults with ear problems have poor ET function.
At Duke Otology/Neurotology, we will determine the cause of the hearing loss, and discuss with you possible appropriate treatment strategies, both surgical and medical. Our neurotologists David Kaylie, MD, and Debara Tucci, MD, are experts at treating conductive hearing loss.
Individuals with conductive hearing loss and unilateral sensorineural hearing loss may be candidates for the BAHA device, which permits hearing by a high fidelity bone conduction system.
The BAHA includes a surgically implanted pedestal that protrudes slightly through the skin, with a color-matched hearing aid device attached. Our hearing specialists can evaluate candidacy for the BAHA as well as non-implanted hearing devices.