Hearing Loss
Group of individuals laughing
The Remarkable Ear

The ear is remarkable. Its parts work together in perfect harmony to convert sound waves to mechanical signals, and then to electrical signals that your brain perceives as sound.

Unfortunately, some individuals have ears that don’t function optimally. Hearing loss can affect one ear or both ears and can stem from various causes. Often it’s due to the tiny hair-like cells of the cochlea struggling to receive sound waves. Envoy Medical can be a resource for you in understanding, treating, restoring and maintaining hearing — regardless of the origin.

hearing loss ear diagram
How Hearing Works

Sound travels through the ear in three distinct phases. The brain interprets the sound waves as they travel through the ear.

Parts of the ear:
  • Outer ear - the visible outer part (the pinna) and the ear canal
  • Middle ear - includes the eardrum and three tiny bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup), which as a connected component comprise the ossicles
  • Inner ear - the snail-shaped cochlea and the hearing nerve, as well as semicircular canals that help us with balance
Each of these components of the ear perform a critical function in transmitting sound. Natural hearing relies on the components functioning together. If there is a malfunction anywhere in these phases, hearing loss may be experienced.
Four Degrees of Loss

There are four degrees of hearing loss:


Struggle to hear speech at a normal level.


Ability to hear parts of speech, but difficulty with softer sounds.

Dial Infographic

Inability to hear most speech at normal levels; ability to hear loud sounds.

Inability to hear any normal speech; ability to only hear very loud sounds.
Types of Hearing Loss

Four types of hearing loss have been identified, and in most cases, each type is treatable.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Nerve-related (sensorineural) hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused when tiny hair cells in the cochlea are damaged or degraded, and don’t effectively transmit sound impulses to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss often occurs in aging adults, but can also be caused by genetics, head trauma or exposure to loud noise. Past patients in this range of loss only had two choices: hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Conductive Hearing Loss

When the outer or middle ear malfunctions, restricting the production of sound this is known as conductive hearing loss. The most common solutions include bone anchored devices, surgically implanted osseointegrated devices or bone conduction surgery.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. It’s caused by malfunctions in both the inner and the outer or middle ear. Audiologists typically recommend taking care of the conductive (above) component first. However, we recommend consulting with a hearing professional who can diagnose it before deciding on how to treat it.

Unique Diagnoses

Rarely, none of the other types of loss is the right diagnosis, such as:  Missing or severed hearing nerve - Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder - where sound enters the ear normally, but damage to the inner ear or hearing nerve prevents sound from being organized in a way the brain can understand.

Still not sure of what type of hearing loss you have?

We recommend taking the following initial steps:

Take our hearing loss

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Have your hearing tested now by using our online tool

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Schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area

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Let us be your guide.

We have experience guiding patients on their path to hearing health.
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