Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. Hearing Loss

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

Beverly Hills Hearing Center was founded in 1983 by Bonnie Baehr. Prior to that, Dr. Baehr practiced at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles as a staff audiologist for seven years. She was involved with diagnostic testing, hearing aid evaluations, research and rehabilitation. Dr. Baehr did her clinical fellowship training at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in downtown Los Angeles. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology, American Speech Language and Hearing Association, California Academy of Audiology and Academy of Doctors of Audiology.
Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

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Our ears consist of three portions, which are the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. When sound cannot travel pass the outer and middle ear, it is considered Conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing issue makes it difficult to hear sounds. For instance, loud noises can have a muffling effect, and soft tones can be challenging to make out. There are a few reasons that one may begin to have CHL. Even basic colds or simple ear canal blockage can cause CHL. On the bright side, treatment is available, and surgery can often support this type of hearing problem, if left untreated, it can be detrimental and escalate the issues. Learn the signs, and be active to treat it as soon as possible, visit an audiologist.

Signs

Our hearing health is of the utmost importance. It is crucial to recognize any adverse symptoms so that you can treat them as soon as possible. Untreated hearing loss can result in poor mental health, fatigue, frustration, anti-social ness, and reduced cognitive function. It can alter your communication with your family and be uncomfortable. That’s why it is crucial to be aware of the symptoms. Some of the signs may be pain in one or both ears, a change in your hearing speech, a feeling or sense that your own voice sounds different or you may begin to notice that you can hear out of one ear better than the other. You may also smell a peculiar scent from the ear or experience some kind of pressure in one or both ears. Symptoms can present itself at once or randomly, depending on the cause.

Causes

There are several reasons a person may develop CHL. If an individual catches a cold or virus, fluid may develop in the ear and cause conductive hearing loss. What’s more, our ear contains a tube called the Eustachian tube, and this tube connects our middle ear to our nose. If this tube is not functioning properly, fluid can collect in the middle ear, thus causing problems.

Additionally, something as simple as earwax that’s stuck in the ear canal can cause CHL. Another reason can be from a condition called external otitis, which is when an infection occurs in the ear canal. External otitis can happen from access water sitting in the ear; some people may also refer to this as a swimmer’s ear.

Genetics can also be a factor. Naturally, we can be born with deformed anatomical ear structures that result in hearing problems. Some are born with no outer ear, deformed ear canals, or bones that contain deformities in the middle ear, and this can all cause CHL. Also, if one has a benign tumor, it can block the middle or outer ear.

Treatments

Treating hearing loss is essential. The majority of CHL is not permanent and can be treated or reversed with standard medical treatment. Early diagnose is vital and high recommended to prevent further deterioration. There are several ways to treat conductive hearing loss; one option is hearing aids. The hearing aids help sound vibrations reach your inner and middle ear. Alternatively, hearing implants are designed to help provide more precise sound. They replicate natural hearing and mimic the cochlear. These devices can drastically improve your quality of life. As a result, your mental health can immensely improve.

If the issue is wax build-up, you can respond to the problem yourself. You can buy tools like extractors, cleaners, or syringes to help treat the problem. You can purchase most of the tools from pharmacies or medical websites. Treating hearing loss through medical procedures are becoming more common. Medical procedures can be used to help with infections or benign growths. Speak with your audiologist to determine an adequate treatment.

Ultimately, our hearing health is necessary and precious. Therefore, we need to take care of it. There are ways we can prevent this type of hearing issue. Keep the ears clean to avoid wax build-up. Refrain from using cotton swabs in the ear, which can risk perforating the eardrum. When taking a swim, wear earplugs to prevent swimmer’s ear. If you start detecting any symptom, take action right away. Untreated hearing loss will consequently cause many problems down the line.

Beverly Hills Hearing Center

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!