Conductive Hearing Loss is a hearing loss in the middle or outer ear. More specifically it means problems in middle or outer ear sections, that is, their proper functioning. Malfunctions in this area block the normal transfer of sound to the inner ear. This effect can easily be simulated by plugging your ear.
Usually the ranges of this loss are between 25 and 65 decibels, meaning this can be seen as a mild hearing loss. It can be permanent or temporary depending on the causes of the same. Many cases are cured with medication or surgery.
Some of the most common causes are fluid in the middle ear or wax in the ear canal. This type of hearing loss is more likely to be experienced by children than Sensorineural Hearing Loss. It can affect one or both ears.
- Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss
- Ear infections
- Ear canal infections
- Foreign body presence
- Fluid in ear caused by colds
- Benign tumors
- Broken or punctured eardrum
- “Swimmer’s Ear”
- Malfunctioning of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear and in some cases their absence
- Wax build-up
- Otosclerosis or the growth of the middle ear bone
Some of these causes may easily be cured, such as impacted earwax. Others can lead to a decreased functioning of the tympanic membrane or reduced attrition of the three small bones of the ear (malleus, incus, and stapes) which can seriously decrease hearing sensitivity. The point is to detect the cause of hearing loss and whit that done, the treatment should be easy.
People suffering from hearing losses tend to be depressed, lonely and helpless. They giveaway the feeling of emotional and social vulnerability.
Thus, Conductive Hearing Loss is the inefficient transfer of sound to the inner ear. It is characterized by a loss in sound intensity. Voices tend to sound sunken. A person who suffers from this hearing impairment feels like his ear is plugged or full. The person usually talks more quietly than other people because he hears his own voice very loudly. Eating crunchy food like chips may extremely disturb one because of the noise it makes.
The first solution may be to get hearing aid. Hearing aid is a good solution if the hearing loss is mild, but if it the hearing loss is more severe, hearing aid may be of no help. Some people are unable to use hearing aids because of malformations in their ears that make it impossible for them to wear it. Other reasons not to use hearing aids may be from not getting the most out of them. The reason is that hearing aids increase sound in order to get through the blocked middle ear and that makes the sound become deformed and fuzzy.
Hearing aids are composed of four parts: microphone, amplifier, receiver and battery.
Earwax build-ups can easily be treated by softening the ear wax with mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin or commercial ear drops.
Abnormal ear bone growth can be fixed with medical surgery. One solution may be “stapedectomy” which removes all or part of the stapes and leads to increased hearing performance and sensitivity.