Conductive Hearing Loss Explained

Conductive hearing loss is the name given to hearing loss that develops when sounds are unable to move through the eardrum, from the outer ear into the inner ear, or via the ossicles, the tiny bones inside the middle ear. In some cases, such as if earwax has built up in the ears, conductive hearing loss may be temporary, and easily corrected.

Some people experience conductive hearing loss by itself, but others may experience it alongside sensorineural hearing loss, which refers to structural damage to the ear. If you have noticed a decrease in the volume of the sounds around you, but the sounds are not distorted, you may be experiencing conductive hearing loss.

How Is Conductive Hearing Loss Caused?

There are several causes of conductive hearing loss, and these include the following:

1.Ear infection. Ear infections, which are particularly common in childhood, can lead to a blockage in the Eustachian tube, located in the middle ear. This often causes increased pressure in the middle ear, which restricts the movement of the tiny ossicles that are so essential to good hearing. A fluid buildup caused by ear infection is another common cause of conductive hearing loss, and hearing loss caused by an ear infection can often be treated with medication.

2. Earwax buildup. If you have a build up of earwax in the ear, this can cause temporary conductive hearing loss. The problem may be causing severe hearing loss, but it is usually easy to remedy with earwax removal. You should seek advice as soon as you notice any hearing loss, to rule out simple causes such as this. If you have a build up of earwax, you can experience ringing sounds or buzzing noises, replicating the symptoms of Tinnitus.

3. Otosclerosis. Otosclerosis is a genetic condition that can cause conductive hearing loss, since it leads to bony growths near the middle ear. These growths can cause difficulties with hearing, disrupting the way sounds travel through the ears and putting pressure on the delicate hearing organs.

4. Changes in environmental pressure. Moving into an environment where the pressure changes, such as travelling by air or up a steep hill or mountain, can cause the pressure within the hearing system to vary. For example, if you experience different pressure in the external ear to that in the middle ear, you may experience a temporary conductive hearing loss. If this persists after you have returned to an environment with a steady pressure, you should consult a doctor or audiologist.

How Is Conductive Hearing Loss Treated?

If your conductive hearing loss is caused by a blockage or build-up in the ear, it will usually be possible to remove this and solve the hearing loss. Some conductive hearing loss, however, is permanent.

The good news is that conductive hearing loss is usually very effectively treated with hearing aids, if investigations reveal it to be a permanent condition. Our professional team will work with you to find the best solution for you and your lifestyle.

To book your free hearing test call 1800 882 884 or click here to find your local clinic.

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