Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that occurs when there is a problem with the outer ear or middle ear. The outer ear collects sound waves and directs them into the middle ear. The middle ear then amplifies the sound waves and sends them to the inner ear. If there is a problem with any of these parts of the ear, sound waves may not be able to travel properly and hearing loss may result.
Conductive hearing loss can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in children. It can be treated in most cases.
If you have conductive hearing loss, you may benefit from using hearing aids.Hearing aids can amplify sound waves and help people with conductive hearing loss hear better.
What is the Main Cause of Conductive Hearing Loss?
The most common cause of conductive hearing loss is otitis media, also known as ear infections. Ear infections can cause inflammation and fluid buildup in the middle ear, which can block sound waves from passing through. Other causes of conductive hearing loss include:
- Earwax buildup
- Foreign objects in the ear
- Injury to the ear
- Congenital defects
- Benign tumors
What is an Example of a Conductive Hearing Loss?
An example of a conductive hearing loss is tympanic membrane perforation. The tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum, is a thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. If the tympanic membrane is perforated, sound waves cannot pass through it and hearing loss may result.
What is Conductive vs Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Conductive hearing loss is different from sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the inner ear or the auditory nerve. The inner ear converts sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. If there is a problem with the inner ear or the auditory nerve, these electrical signals may not be sent properly and hearing loss may result.
What is Conductive Hearing Loss and How Long Does it Last?
Conductive hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Temporary conductive hearing loss is often caused by ear infections or earwax buildup. These conditions can usually be treated with medication or by removing the earwax. Permanent conductive hearing loss is less common and is often caused by congenital defects or injuries to the ear.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, it is important to see an audiologist to determine the cause of your hearing loss and get treatment if necessary. Treatment for conductive hearing loss will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if your hearing loss is caused by earwax buildup, your audiologist can remove the earwax for you. If your hearing loss is caused by an ear infection, your audiologist may prescribe medication to treat the infection.