A mixed hearing loss can be thought of as a sensorineural hearing loss with a conductive component overlaying all or part of the tested audiometric range. So, in addition to some irreversible hearing loss caused by an inner ear or auditory nerve disorder, there is also a dysfunction of the middle ear mechanism that makes the hearing worse than the sensorineural loss alone.
The conductive component may be amenable to medical treatment and reversal of associated hearing problems, but the sensorineural component will most likely be permanent. Digital hearing aids can be beneficial for individuals with a mixed hearing loss, but caution must be exercised by the hearing specialist if the conductive component is due to an active ear infection.
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