What is conductive hearing loss?

Understanding conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear. There are a number of different reasons why the condition may occur.

Some causes of conductive hearing

  • A build-up of ear wax in the outer ear stopping sound getting to the eardrum
  • An ear infection or inflammation in the outer ear (otitis externa) or middle ear (otitis media)
  • A build-up of fluid in the middle ear (glue ear)
  • A perforated eardrum
  • A foreign body
  • Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear (otosclerosis)

Ear Blockages

A build-up of wax or fluid in the ear can cause hearing loss. This can be a symptom of an ear infection, or it may just be an accumulation of hard ear wax. Ear drops can be used to soften and loosen ear wax. If this doesn't work, contact your local National Hearing Care clinic to discuss the best options. If you need any advice and support, our audiologists are only a phone call away.

Perforated eardrum

This can be caused by an infection in the middle ear, a severe blow to the ear or damage caused by a foreign body (e.g a cotton swab used to clean the ear). As a result, earache, discomfort or a loss of hearing may occur. We recommend making an appointment to see your doctor.

Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis is a condition where abnormal bone growth in the middle ear interferes with the transmission of sound, leading to gradual hearing loss. It typically develops in your 20s or 30s and can be treated with surgery, or with hearing aids.

These conditions can affect one or both ears and can often be cured by medicine or surgery. Contact your local National Hearing Care audiologist for more information.

Bone Conduction device

If conductive hearing loss is an issue for you, you could also consider adopting a bone conduction hearing device, such as the Adhear Bone Conduction System by Med-El.

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