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How Does Conductive Hearing Loss Occur

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What Is The Best Treatment For Sensorineural Hearing Loss

How Does Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occur?

Those who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss may not be able to regain their full hearing capacity, even with treatment. However, there are remedies to improve hearing and surgical procedures that may recover some hearing. New York ENT doctors may recommend any of the following treatment options, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual:

If you are suffering from sensorineural hearing loss, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ear-related conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at to schedule an appointment today.

Conductive Hearing Loss Treatment

Many things can cause conductive hearing loss, so treatment varies. The first step to treatment is seeking help and finding a diagnosis. Your family doctor or audiologist can help you with this. Once the issue has been identified, treatment can move forward.

Most cases of conductive hearing loss are caused by earwax buildup and ear infections. While these issues seem benign, they can be dangerous if left alone or treated improperly.

If you are suffering from earwax blockage, do not try to remove the earwax yourself. You can easily puncture your eardrum or shove the impaction further into your ear. Avoid putting anything in your ears, including ear canals and cleaning tools.

Meanwhile, those suffering from frequent ear infections should seek treatment. While isolated treatments might be solved easily, chronic issues can lead to scarring of the ear canal. Never let an ear infection fester, and talk to your doctor. Its important that you receive the proper antibiotics to clear up the infection. Do not rely entirely on home remedies.

For those with tumors, growths, or protrusions in the ear, surgery is an option to remove these issues. If the issue cannot be solved with a procedure, other avenues of treatment do exist.

Hearing aids for conductive hearing loss do exist. Some standard forms of hearing aids can provide relief, and specific hearing aids known as bone conduction hearing aids tackle conduction issues specifically.

Does Speech Get Worse Without Treatment

The brain is a fascinating thing. It can adjust to the way your body changes. In this case, if your hearing loss isnt treated, your brain will start to adjust itself to not being able to hear certain frequencies associated with words and letters.

As a result, your brain will interpret speech differently. If you have trouble hearing certain sounds and words theres a good chance youll have trouble speaking those same sounds and words, too.

When a child experiences hearing loss, it can impact their speech development. They might grow up not being able to communicate verbally and may have a difficult time understanding what people are saying when they speak.

As an adult, however, if youre experiencing hearing loss at an older age, you might still have an easier time understanding others and being able to form words yourself, if for no other reason than muscle memory. However, as stated above, as time goes on and you continue to experience hearing loss, you might find that youll have a harder time with your own speech, as well as understanding what others are saying.

Unfortunately, that can lead to a variety of different mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, as well as difficulty concentrating. Some people who have trouble with their speech due to hearing loss even try to withdraw themselves from others.

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What Causes Hearing Loss

A loss of hearing can occur due to several factors such as the aging process, exposure to loud noise, medication side-effects, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital or genetic factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes.

Recent data shows that about 20% of adults in the United States report some degree of loss. Hearing problems often occur gradually throughout a lifetime.

Can Conductive Hearing Loss Be Cured Or Is It Permanent

Hearing Loss  Cambridge Audiology

Conductive loss may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. However, most common causes are easily diagnosed and readily treatable, for example, removal of earwax buildup, treatment of chronic ear infections, or removing a foreign object in the ear.

The first step for proper treatment is to seek help and obtain the right diagnosis. A family doctor can review your situation and an expert audiologist can provide many effective solutions.

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What Are The Complications Associated With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact peoples quality of life and their mental state. If you develop hearing loss, you may have difficulty understanding others. This can increase your anxiety level or cause depression. Treatment for hearing loss may improve your life significantly. It may restore self-confidence while also improving your ability to communicate with other people.

Definition Of Conductive Hearing Loss

In the ear, the air converts the sound into action potentials of the nerve fibers via a mechanical chain . This process is called transduction. In conduction hearing loss, this transduction is impaired and hearing is therefore limited.

Sounds in everyday life are perceived as softer and discussions feel more strenuous. However, the quality of the sounds is not clear and sharp the perception of both high and low tones is reduced. People with these symptoms frequently describe the feeling of hearing through cotton wool or wearing ear plugs.

The following contains important information on conductive hearing loss. On this page, we provide you with information on the causes, the symptoms, the diagnosis by an ENT specialist and possible forms of treatment.

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Causes Of Hearing Loss

In general, hearing loss can be caused by heredity , aging , loud sound exposure, diseases and infections, trauma , or ototoxic drugs . loss can categorized into the following ranges based on PTAs :

  • slight
  • mild
  • moderate
  • moderately severe
  • severe
  • profound

The loss can be caused by damage to any part of the auditory pathway. Three major types of hearing loss have been defined: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Conductive hearing loss refers to damage to the conductive system of the earthat is, the ear canal, tympanic membrane , and ossicles and can include fluid filling the middle ear space. Sensorineural hearing loss indicates a problem in the inner ear, auditory nerve, or higher auditory centers in the brainstem and temporal lobe. Mixed hearing loss designates that the hearing loss has both a conductive and sensorineural component. Treatments for hearing loss involve surgery, hearing aids of various types, cochlear prostheses, medication, and various forms of habilitation and rehabilitation.

Signs Of Hearing Loss

How does hearing loss happen?

Some people have a hearing problem and dont realize it. You should see your doctor if you:

  • Have trouble hearing over the telephone
  • Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking
  • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying
  • Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complain
  • Have a problem hearing because of background noise
  • Think that others seem to mumble
  • Cant understand when women and children speak to you

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Exposure To Loud Noise

As stated earlier, extended or sudden exposure to loud noise can damage the hair cells in your ear and cause sensorineural hearing loss. Most people think that until they have been exposed to loud noise over an extended time, no damage is done to their hair, but this is not true. Sudden exposure to loud noise, for instance, a bomb blast, can instantly damage your ears. Depending on the amount of damage done to the ear, the hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Sensorineural hearing loss that is caused by sudden exposure to loud noise often affects only one ear.Occupational noises, noise from recreational activities like snowmobiling, noise in musical activities like concerts and clubs, or constant use of headphones at high volumes for an extended period can all cause sensorineural hearing loss.

What Healthcare Providers Diagnose And Treat Hearing Loss

If you suspect hearing loss, you may see an:

  • Audiologist: These specialists conduct hearing exams and hearing needs assessments to discuss your unique listening and communication needs. They help with determining the appropriate hearing devices, which often include hearing aids, in addition to other types of hearing device technology . Most audiologists have doctorates in audiology . Audiologists are not medical doctors.
  • Hearing aid specialist: These specialists pass a state exam and receive state licenses to conduct hearing tests. They can fit you for hearing aids.
  • Otolaryngologist: These medical doctors are also known as ear, nose and throat specialists. They prescribe medications and perform surgeries to treat ear problems and hearing loss.

Audiologists or hearing aid specialists often work with otolaryngologists. As a team, they can address all your hearing issues to help improve your hearing.

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Degrees Of Hearing Loss

There are four clinically labeled degrees of hearing loss:


If you have mild hearing loss, you may hear some speech sounds, but will have difficulty with soft sounds.


If you have moderate hearing loss, youll struggle to hear/understand speech when someone is talking at a normal level.


If you have severe hearing loss, you will hear little-to-no speech when spoken at normal levels, and hear only some loud sounds.


If you have profound hearing loss, you may only hear very loud sounds and no speech at all.

How To Treat Conductive Hearing Loss

Why Cant I Hear? Types and Causes of Hearing Loss You ...

Conductive hearing loss is a common form of hearing loss that happens when damage or an obstruction to the outer or middle ear drum stops sound travelling through the ear to the ear drum and the minuscule bones of the inner ear.

Depending on its cause, conductive hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, although the good news is it is usually very treatable. This type of hearing loss has many possible causes, so if you feel you may be suffering from conductive hearing loss, its important to make an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible. Here at the Hearing Centre we see many patients in our Leicester clinic in order to pinpoint the cause of conductive hearing loss and treat it appropriately.

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How Is Conductive Hearing Loss Treated

Unlike sensorineural hearing loss which is permanent, conductive hearing loss may be temporary and resolve on its own, or can be corrected surgically or medically. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause.

  • Impacted earwax: Warm water irrigation is a safe method for removal if there is no history of infection, perforation of the eardrum, or prior ear surgery and if its performed by a medical professional.
  • Infection of the outer ear: The ear canal is debrided, followed by application of eardrops. If the infection is severe, a wick is placed in the ear for two to three days to ensure delivery of the medication. In addition, oral antibiotics may be helpful if the infection is severe. Hearing loss typically resolves after the inflammation subsides.
  • Eardrum perforation: In most cases, the hole heals on its own as long as the ear canal is kept dry. If the ear becomes infected, antibiotic ear drops or oral medication will be prescribed. If the eardrum doesnt heal within two months, tympanoplasty may be required. This surgery involves using different types of grafts to repair the perforation. Tympanoplasty is used most often when a chronic infection caused the perforation. A 2015 study indicated a success rate of 86.6% for restored hearing function in individuals who underwent this procedure.
  • How Is Conductive Hearing Loss Diagnosed

    The following tests may be used to diagnose conductive hearing loss. Additional tests are used to diagnose underlying diseases that result in conductive hearing loss.

  • Otoscopy: During this common test, your doctor will gently insert an otoscope in your ear to view your eardrum and ear canal. This will help determine if you have an injured eardrum, foreign bodies in your ear canal , or a middle ear problem. Your doctor will look at the color of your eardrum , translucency , and its position .
  • Weber test: During this test, a tuning fork is struck and placed on the crown of your head. Youll be asked if the sound is louder in your right ear, left ear, or the middle. If you have normal hearing, youll be able to perceive the sound equally in both of your ears. If you have conductive hearing loss in one ear only, youll hear the sound louder in the affected ear.
  • Tympanometry: A probe-like device is placed in your ear to determine if theres fluid, abnormal pressure, or a growth in your middle ear a perforation or scarring of your eardrum or lack of mobility or other issues with the small bones of your middle ear. While the test only takes about two minutes for both ears, you cant move, speak, or swallow while its being conducted.
  • Pure-tone audiometry: This test is used to assess hearing thresholds to determine if your hearing levels fall with normal limits.
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    An Inability To Communicate

    More than any other sense, hearing is critical to our ability to communicate with each other. Certainly, touch and sight are useful in helping convey and interpret emotion to see and feel whats going on around us. Our hearing, however, allows us to put things into a specific context other senses cannot.

    Thinkabout your world if you were unable to hear the following:

    • Kids laughing.
    • The lyrics of a song.
    • The dialogue from a movie.
    • Someone saying I love you.

    Itsnot just the positive aspects of sound wed miss out on either. Hearing worksas a warning system. It can alert us to danger or aide in sensing when othersare in distress, allowing us to intervene.

    Imagineif you couldnt hear the cries of a baby or tornado sirens or a fire alarm.

    Hearingloss may also lead to a person feeling isolated or alone. Communication is abasic tenet of how humans interact. The inability to hear others speak can leadto poor work performance, sparse social interaction, or an individualwithdrawing from those with whom they are close.

    Studieshave shown that hearing loss may even lead to dementia in olderpatients, with years of struggling to hear and the social isolation that comeswith it, taking its toll.

    Aswith the other senses, its easy to take our hearing for granted. When itworks, we pay little attention to our capacity to hear and rarely thinkanything of it. That, however, is starting to change. Based on recentstatistics, hearing loss is a growing health concern for many.

    How Is It Treated

    Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occurs in the Cochlea | MED-EL

    Once diagnosed, many cases of conductive hearing loss can be easily treated at home. At the Hearing Centre, we treat many cases of conductive hearing loss by using a microsuction device to remove anything blocking the ear, which is normally a result in the build-up of earwax. The recommended course of treatment will depend on both the cause and the area of the ear that is being affected. We do not require a referral from your doctor to investigate conductive hearing loss and our sophisticated hearing test equipment ensures a thorough investigation and accurate diagnosis.

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    What Are The Complications Of Hearing Loss

    Having hearing loss can make you feel disconnected from the world around you. You may become frustrated, irritable or angry. People with severe hearing loss can become anxious or depressed. Children with hearing loss may struggle in school and get poor grades. Studies also show a link between hearing loss in older adults and dementia.

    How Do We Hear

    Hearing depends on a series of events that change sound waves in the air into electrical signals. Your auditory nerve then carries these signals to your brain through a complex series of steps.

  • Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through a narrow passageway called the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum.
  • The eardrum vibrates from the incoming sound waves and sends these vibrations to three tiny bones in the middle ear. These bones are called the malleus, incus, and stapes.
  • The bones in the middle ear couple the sound vibrations from the air to fluid vibrations in the cochlea of the inner ear, which is shaped like a snail and filled with fluid. An elastic partition runs from the beginning to the end of the cochlea, splitting it into an upper and lower part. This partition is called the basilar membrane because it serves as the base, or ground floor, on which key hearing structures sit.
  • Once the vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to ripple, a traveling wave forms along the basilar membrane. Hair cells-sensory cells sitting on top of the basilar membrane-ride the wave.
  • As the hair cells move up and down, microscopic hair-like projections that perch on top of the hair cells bump against an overlying structure and bend. Bending causes pore-like channels, which are at the tips of the stereocilia, to open up. When that happens, chemicals rush into the cells, creating an electrical signal.
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    What Causes Conductive Hearing Loss

    Conductive hearing loss happens when the natural movement of sound through the external ear or middle ear is blocked, and the full sound does not reach the inner ear. Conductive loss from the exterior ear structures may result from:

    • EarwaxYour body normally produces earwax. In some cases, it can collect and completely block your ear canal causing hearing loss.
    • Swimmers earSwimmers ear, also called otitis externa, is an infection in the ear canal often related to water exposure, or cotton swab use.
    • Foreign bodyThis is typically a problem in children who may put common objects including beads and beans in their ears but can also be seen in adults most often by accident, such as when a bug gets into the ear.
    • Bony lesionsThese are non-cancerous growths of bone in the ear canal often linked with cold water swimming.
    • Defects of the external ear canal, called aural atresiaThis is most commonly noted at birth and often seen with defects of the outer ear structure, called microtia.
    • Middle ear fluid or infection
    • Ear drum problems

    Conductive loss associated with middle ear structures include:

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