Your ear is made of many parts and damage to any of these parts can affect your hearing. Conductive hearing loss happens when sound can’t be conducted through your outer and middle ear to reach your inner ear.
We’ve all had those visitors we try to trap at the front door or in the hallway rather than allowing them into the living room. In conductive hearing loss, your ears behave a bit like this, trapping sound before it can reach your inner ear. As a result, loud sounds might be muffled and soft sounds might be very hard to hear. It’s like sitting at the back of the house and trying to hear a conversation at the front door.
Fluid in your middle ear, resulting from a cold or a middle ear infection (otitis media)
A perforated eardrum
An infection in the ear canal, known as swimmer’s ear
Something stuck in your ear, like impacted ear wax or a foreign object
A Eustachian tube that doesn’t drain well
Otosclerosis, a genetic disorder that causes abnormal bone growth in the middle ear
Cholesteatoma, an abnormal, non-cancerous skin growth in your middle ear.
There are different treatments for conductive hearing loss, depending on the exact cause. Treatments include:
Antibiotics or antifungal medications to treat infections of the outer ear, ear canal or middle ear and to deal with middle ear fluid
Surgery to repair the middle ear’s structures, for example, after head trauma or due to otosclerosis
Amplifying sound with a bone-conduction hearing aid, a surgically implanted device or a conventional hearing aid.
The good news is that many cases of conductive hearing loss do get better with treatment. Some even resolve on their own.
If you’re concerned about your hearing, please come to see us at Ear Health. We can assess your hearing and recommend the right, evidence-based treatment to help make things sound clear again.