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Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

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Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Peter Lucier, HIS

Peter studied hearing aid fitting at the world headquarters of Starkey Labs. He was able to have hands on training with the company’s founder, Bill Austin. He has also undergone advanced training in the smallest, nearly invisible style hearing aids, and has expanded his education by traveling to Denmark to learn directly from European hearing aid manufacturers. He continues to attend conferences and training seminars to stay current on the rapidly evolving world of hearing aid technology.
Peter Lucier, HIS

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When a person has conductive loss of hearing, their sound levels are reduced. The sound reduction happens when the sound travels to the inner ear or the cochlea. A reduction in the sound levels impacts the hearing ability.

The passage of sound can, actually, become blocked in the middle ear or in the ear canal. Sound waves will enter the ear canal and cause the entire ear drum to vibrate. This is known as conductive hearing loss. This may happen because of damaged or blocked anatomical structures in the following areas:

  • outer ear
  • ear canal
  • middle ear

Reasons for Conductive Hearing Loss

There are many different reasons that conductive hearing loss occurs and affects people. There are some common causes that are worth being informed about. There are a number of causes that lead up to conductive loss of hearing. The following are the most common factors that play a role in this medical issue:

  • An abnormal bone growth – This growth occurs near the middle ear. It’s called Osteosclerosis. It can be an inherited condition. It is unknown what the, actual, cause is. It does affect hearing because the hearing flow is blocked. It can affect the sense of balance too. Balance may become impaired. A medical professional may inquire about other risk factors. This can include pregnancy, gender and family history. Untreated hearing loss can make the situation much worse. Deafness occurs in extreme cases
  • Reoccurring middle ear infections – the infections tend to cause pus and swelling inside the ear. This blocks the sounds from flowing through. Hearing will often return once the infection has cleared up in the ear. In some cases, the hearing naturally returns on its own when the infection is treated. If the infection gets worse, the hearing will continue to decline. Permanent damage can be the result if this issue is not treated
  • Wax accumulation in the ear canal – Excessive earwax can cause much harm to the hearing and must be tended to and removed. A medical professional can provide safe methods for the removal of the cerumen. Ringing of the ears can happen if this medical issue is not treated. The physical barrier (wax) will, also, stop the sounds and prevent healthy hearing from taking place.
  • Cholesteatoma: this is an abnormal noncancerous skin growth. It can develop in the middle area of the ear. Right behind the eardrum. It can be the result of a birth defect. Usually, repeated middle ear infections contribute to it. This tends to affect the pressure in the ear. When a person experiences this medical issue, they have a hard time hearing soft sounds. It is hard to hear low and high pitches too. Muffed sounds are heard. Treating hearing loss will offer individuals good hearing health again because it is possible to restore your hearing with quality medical care.

Treatment Options

There are a few different treatment options available to treat conductive loss of hearing. The following treatments can be used for this medical issue:

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids will help to transmit sound in the middle or outer ear. This is beneficial if the Corti organ in the cochlea is functioning normally. Hearing aids can correct his medical issue while providing quality hearing. The aid transfers the sound by bone vibration. It will bypass the middle and outer ear. This proves to be beneficial for mixed hearing losses and conductive loss. The device requires and relies on a working cochlea. This allows the sound to be sent to the brain. Amplification is, often a good solution for this hearing issue

Surgical or medical treatments

It ought to be known, the medical procedures do not always completely reverse the conductive loss of hearing. Many people will benefit from a hearing aid. Treating hearing loss is not complicated for trained professionals. Quality hearing health must be considered by everyone because untreated hearing loss can pose bigger health concerns. Stapedectomy is one type of ear surgery. This can be performed on problems caused by otosclerosis. It ought to be noted, there are some implantable devices and/or assistive listening devices available to treat people with conductive loss of hearing. A trained professional can provide useful information about the treatment options.

Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast

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!

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