Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

In hearing loss by Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Laurie Duffy, M.S. has been a licensed audiologist for over 30 years. After working for many years for non-profit rehabilitation agencies and other audiology practices, she established her own practice in 1999.
Laurie Duffy, M.S.

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Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in sound delivery to the hearing region in the inner ear, known as the cochlea. The condition can occur as a result of blockage of the ear canal which is a hole in the eardrum. Another reason is maybe due to problems with the three small bones in the ear. Accumulation of fluid between cochlea ad the eardrum can also cause conductive hearing Issues.

Signs and Symptoms of Conductive Hearing Loss

Signs and symptoms of this type of hearing loss vary depending on the causes and severity. You will be suffering from conductive hearing problem if you have the following symptoms:

  • Experience dizziness
  • Muffled hearing
  • Steady or sudden loss of your hearing
  • Draining from your ear
  • Experience stuffy or full sensation in your ear
  • Experience tenderness or pain in your ear

As stated earlier, conductive loss of hearing results when natural sound movement is hindered through the middle or external ear; hence the sound fails to reach the inner ear. Loss of sound conduction from the exterior ears may be as a result of:

  • Our bodies normally produce an ear wax and this wax can accumulate in the ear canal, leading to loss of hearing.
  • Swimmer’s ear. It is scientifically known as otitis externa and Often refers to the infection of the inner ear canal as a result of exposure to a cotton swab or water use.
  • Foreign body. This refers to the insertion of foreign bodies in the ear, and it is mainly a problem of the children. It can also affect some adults and may be caused by accidents or any other causes.
  • Bony lesions. When you get used to swimming in cold waters, you tend to develop some bone growth in your ear canal. The bones are non-cancerous but may affect your hearing health.
  • Aural Atresia. This refers to the defects that occur on the external ear canal and they are mainly noted during birth and at very early stages of life.
  • Middle ear infection and fluid accumulation

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss Associated with Middle Ear Structures

Middle Ear Infection or Fluid. The space of the middle air always contains air but at times, it can get filled with fluid known as otitis media. When an infection occurs and affects the fluid, a condition known as acute otitis media occurs. It makes the ear pain and always accompanied by fever. This condition can be a risk factor to conductive hearing problem.

Collapsing of the Ear Drum. This happens when there is an imbalance of pressure in otitis structures. The imbalance is always caused damaged Eustachian tubes making the eardrum to collapse hence hindering the conduction of sounds.

Cholesteatoma. This is a condition where there is a growth of skin cells in the middle ear and may cause damage to the bones hence interfering with sound conduction to the inner ear.

Damaged Middle ear Bones. The bones can be managed as a result of infection, trauma, retracted eardrum or even Cholesteatoma.

Treatment of Conductive Hearing Loss

When you experience any type of hearing loss, you should contact a hearing health provider. At HearCare Rhode Island, we provide you with thorough care. We will first conduct a thorough diagnosis of your condition then will provide you with excellent treatment options. We will also evaluate your hearing by putting you in an audiogram to test your hearing. We will be able to tell if you have conductive hearing issue or any other type of hearing problem. Based on the results of the examinations, we will recommend the following options for untreated hearing loss.

Treating Hearing Loss

  • Observation with repeated hearing testing
  • Fitting of hearing aids and other assistive listening devices
  • Surgery to treat the cause of loss of hearing
  • Surgery for implantation of the listening devices

Cholesteatoma, aural atresia, bony lesions, otitis media, and severe retraction of the tympanic membrane uses surgery only as a way of treating hearing loss.

HearCare Rhode Island

If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing and struggle with communication, contact us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!