Our ear is made up of three parts:

Outer ear -Protects the eardrum and collects soundwaves 
Middle ear – Main function is to amplify sound
Inner ear – Directly responsible for hearing

Sound is picked up by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum. Sound vibrations cause the eardrum to rock back and forth. Three tiny bones in the middle ear send the sound vibrations to the inner ear. Vibrations from the middle ear cause tiny hair cells in the cochlea to move. These hair cells are connected to the hearing nerve and send the hearing signal to the brain.

Types of Hearing Loss

Temporary Hearing Loss

The ear canal can become blocked with:

  • Wax
  • Debris
  • Skin
  • Foreign objects

Micro-suction may be the ideal solution for any of these problems. At Hearing Auckland this procedure is performed by ear hygienists, trained in this procedure.

Conductive Hearing Loss

This is hearing loss resulting from a problem located in the outer or middle ear.


  • Excessive earwax
  • Damage to the eardrum
  • Ear infections
  • Fluid in the middle ear or stiffness in the bones of the middle ear (otosclerosis)


  • Reduction in the volume of sound
  • Inability to hear faint sounds
  • Miss parts of words in conversations

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing loss caused by a damaged inner ear.


  • Ageing
  • Noise exposure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Head injuries
  • Medication that is toxic to the auditory system


  • Reduction of the volume of sound
  • Distortion in sound clarity
  • Sensitivity to loud sound

Mixed Hearing Loss

It is also possible to have a conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss at the same time.


  • Damage in the outer or middle ear and in the cochlea or auditory nerve


  • A mix of the above symptoms