What is hearing loss?
As you are continually exposed to loud noises, damage begins to occur. This damage is to the cochlear cilia or hair cells, as we learned on
How We Hear.
The photograph below is a HUGELY enlarged high-powered electron microscope photograph of what the hair cells in a "V" group actually look like!
* The ones that are standing up are fine, and they can transmit sound signals to the auditory nerve fibers.
* The ones that are "tilted" need much more sound pressure to transmit sound signals -- these are "hard of hearing" hair cells that need much more sound pressure (such as from a hearing aid ) to transmit sound signals to the auditory nerve fibers.
* Notice the ones that are laying down and which appear to be broken -- these cells cannot ever transmit any sound signals to the auditory nerve fibers because they are dead. If a person has a lot of dead hair cells, then that person is deaf.
If your damage was caused by an accident or illness this is called a Conductive Loss and the middle ear is usually damaged, as opposed to Noise Induced which damages the inner ear.