Conductive Hearing Loss
About Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss can be equated to a mechanical problem with the conduction of sound vibrations due to problems with the ear canal, eardrum or the middle ear and its tiny bones. It is a different from sensorineural (nerve related) hearing loss, in which nerve impulses from the inner ear to the brain are not generated or transmitted as they should be.
Conductive hearing loss can often be improved with medical or surgical intervention. You provider will determine the specific diagnosis and treatment. Among the causes for conductive hearing loss are a buildup or blockage of ear wax, or a foreign object such as a bean or bug in the ear canal. Severe swelling of the ear canal from Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa can lead to conductive hearing loss. Ear infections that result in accumulation of fluid and interfere with the eardrum’s movement may also cause the disorder.
A birth deformity known as atresia of the ear canal can cause conductive hearing loss. The atresia, or malformation, of the external ear canal is often on only one side. Surgical treatment can reconstruct the ear canal if needed, or a device can be implanted that vibrates the bones of the ear directly to produce sound.
Hearing loss is not limited to those in their later years. If hearing loss affects you, please schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Small children who complain of ear fullness or earache should be seen promptly, to determine if a foreign object is creating a conductive hearing loss, or if an ear infection, allergies or other disorder is affecting their hearing.