Have you been hearing sounds that felt rather distant? Is the quality of the sounds you hear foggy? These signs indicate that you may be suffering from conductive hearing loss. In this post, you will learn what this type of hearing loss is, its symptoms, its causes, and possible treatment options. Are you ready?
Understanding Conductive Hearing Loss
When there are problems with the middle or outer ear, they may prevent sound from passing through to the cochlea. This results in conductive hearing loss. When sound travels through the ear, it SHOULD: first enter the outer ear. Next, it should pass through the middle ear. After the sound passes through the middle ear, it should hit the inner ear. If these steps are successful, the auditory nerve can send a message to your brain without issues.
In the case of conductive hearing loss, sound waves are stopped abruptly when it attempts to travel through the middle ear. In some cases, patients with this type of hearing loss can have healthy outer and inner ears.
What do Patients with Conductive Hearing Loss Hear?
Patients, who have this type of hearing loss, have complained about feeling like their ears are unplugged. Sounds from the surrounding environment are difficult to pick up. However, there is no problems with hearing internal sounds such as chewing on food and one’s own voice. For those who are curious, you can simulate the sounds of conductive hearing loss by blocking your ears with your fingers or wearing ear plugs, and then talk loudly.
Common Conductive Hearing Loss Symptoms
Oftentimes, conductive hearing losses are mild or moderate in degree. Common symptoms include:
Hearing muffled sounds
Hearing distant sounds
Hearing sounds that seem to quiet
The problem with this form of hearing loss is that some individuals who have it, do not realize they have the condition. Additionally, it gets harder to self-diagnose because sounds naturally become quieter. Consulting an audiologist is of utmost importance.
Possible Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss
Over the years, hearing loss professionals have discovered the following causes:
Damaged or hardened ossicles (malleus, incus and stapes)
How Can Conductive Hearing Loss be Treated?
Patients with conductive hearing loss can improve their hearing by using hearing aids, getting a bone conduction implant, or getting a middle ear implant. Bone conduction technology is designed to allow sounds to bypass blockages in the middle ear. Middle ear implants, on the other hand, are designed to establish a direction connection with the patient’s ossicles.
Conductive Hearing Loss Treatment – Next Steps
If you suspect that you may have been suffering from hearing loss for some time now, it is pertinent that you consult a hearing professional or audiologist. You should go for hearing tests to determine the severity of your hearing loss. This way, your healthcare provider can advice you on hearing treatment options that are best for you. Never lose hope. Today, there is a wide range of treatment options for hearing losses, conductive hearing loss included.