What is conductive hearing loss?

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the mechanism in the ear that conducts sound from the external environment to the inner ear. Sound waves are unable to be properly transmitted throughout the route of the outer ear, ear drum or middle ear. This kind of hearing loss can occur alone or in tandem with sensorineural hearing loss.

What causes it?

While traumatic head injuries may result in conductive hearing loss, other, more every-day factors are more common causes. An excess of earwax or an ear infection can leave you more susceptible to conductive hearing loss. In fact, excessive fluid build up that obstructs the eustachian tube (middle ear) is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss. While it’s uncommon, a tumor or foreign object within the external auditory canal can also be a determining factor.

Is there treatment for conductive hearing loss?

Treating conductive hearing loss is dependent on the circumstance. For many individuals who suffered trauma to the head, medication or surgery are proven to be effective measures to correct the problem. However, if the hearing loss cannot be corrected through an active medical intervention like surgery, a hearing aid can be a useful solution. It’s been proven many times over that hearing aids are able to amplify sounds to a degree in which the symptoms of conductive hearing loss are lessened.

Those who suffered head trauma may be able to utilize a cochlear implant (CI). A surgically implanted device, this instrument has both internal and external components. A CI will stimulate the cochlear nerves, reviving sensory hair cells within the cochlea.