When we evaluate hearing loss, the location of the issue determines the type of hearing loss we classify it as. When the issue is located in the outer or middle structures of the ear, we classify it as a conductive hearing loss. When the issue is located in the inner ear, it is classified as sensorineural hearing loss. Individuals can have one or the other, and sometimes can have both types of hearing loss, which is then called mixed hearing loss.
Our hearing organ can become more sensitive to changes as we age. Just as we establish a baseline of health with general practitioners, or have annual eye exams, it is a great idea to begin establishing annual hearing evaluations when you reach the age of 65. For individuals with a family history of hearing loss, establishing annual hearing evaluations earlier is encouraged.