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A Quick Guide to Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is the result of sound being blocked in either your middle ear or ear canal. The normal hearing process involves a seamless interaction between various nerves, bones, cartilage, and the twists of the Eustachian tube. When one of these components is compromised, it can significantly affect your ability to process sounds and often results in hearing loss.

With conductive hearing loss, the passage of sound is blocked because of damaged anatomical structures or blockages in your middle ear, ear canal, or outer ear. Those suffering from conductive hearing loss often experience reduced sound levels that can be comparable to the effect of wearing headphones or earplugs. Simply put, ordinary sounds are softened, and soft sounds may become inaudible.

However, at North Shore Hearing P.C., we offer treatments and solutions to help restore your ability to experience your world. Continue reading to learn more about conductive hearing loss and how North Shore Hearing P.C. can help.

What Causes Conductive Hearing Loss?

Just like a conductor on a train attempting to facilitate the movement of passengers to a specific destination, the ear attempts to move sound through the outer, middle, and inner ear to reach the final destination of the cochlear nerve. The cochlear nerve then transmits the audio information to the brain.

This journey to the cochlea is a sensitive one and involves many tiny parts. Because of this, it shouldn't come as a surprise that disturbances can occur. Muddying of sound through the auditory canal can be affected by a vast range of potential interferences such as:

  • Earwax
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Incorrect growth of the bones in the ear
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    Narrowing of the ear canal
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    Eardrum trauma
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    Changes in air pressure within the ear
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    Tumors in the ear canal

When any of these potential disruptions occur, it can cause conductive hearing loss. Those suffering from conductive hearing loss will find softer sounds harder to hear at both high and low pitches.  

How to Diagnose Conductive Hearing Loss?

Conductive hearing loss can be caused by a number of conditions and factors. Because of this, it's imperative to have a proper diagnosis of your diminished hearing by an experienced audiologist. At North Shore Hearing P.C., we'll utilize one of the following tests to help us determine the causes of your hearing loss and whether it's from conductive issues.

  • Tympanograms are designed to measure the oscillation of the eardrum. If the middle ear and external ear have the same amount of pressure, the eardrum will oscillate normally. If the pressures levels are unequal, the oscillation is altered.
  • Weber tests involve a tuning fork being placed in the middle of the forehead region and struck. If one ear hears the sound better than the other, it may point to conductive distortions.
  • Rinne tests involve using a tuning fork being struck behind the ear and then moved near the ear canal. Conductive problems can be indicated based on how long a person can hear the tone behind the ear and next to the ear opening.
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    Pure-tone audiometry tests are what most people think of as a standard "hearing test". It involves wearing headphones or sitting in a sound booth and requires you to signal when you hear sounds in each ear.

Treatments for Conductive Hearing Loss

Treatments vary considerably depending upon the cause the hearing loss, which is why specific diagnosis of the cause is critical. For something like earwax, treatment may be as straightforward as cleaning your ears and removing the blockage. Remedies for some of the more common causes of conductive issues include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Nasal sprays
  • Surgical procedures
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    Hearing aids

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. for Conductive Hearing Solutions

Considering the multitude of potential causes of conductive hearing loss and the equally numerous number of potential treatments, evaluation by a trained audiologist is vital. At North Shore Hearing P.C., we bring nearly two decades of experience helping people hear and experience the world more clearly. We offer a range of hearing solutions, including:

While hearing loss can be genetic, caused by growing older, caused by certain types of diseases, or caused by ear injuries, most types of hearing loss can be corrected through treatment at North Shore Hearing P.C.

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today.

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.