Facts about Conductive Hearing Loss

Under the term of a conductive hearing loss is understood the condition when a person looses the ability to conduct a sound from the external and/or middle ear into the inner ear.

Under the term of a conductive hearing loss is understood the condition when a person looses the ability to conduct a sound from the external and/or middle ear into the inner ear.

 Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can have three types:

  • Conductive hearing loss. It is a mechanical problem that concerns sound vibrations transmission.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss. When there is a connection problem between inner ear nerve impulses and their path to the brain.
  • Mixed hearing loss. Happens when both aforementioned conditions are present.

Only a physician is able to make a diagnosis and determine which type of hearing loss is the one a patient suffers from. Correct diagnosis is essential as depending on the type of the condition it might be possible to be improved (the first type) surgically in certain cases.

Conductive Hearing Loss Causes

There is a range of reasons that can lead to the condition. Among them are:

  • Some blockage in the external ear canal (for instance, ear wax, or any foreign object)
  • a perforated (or ruptured) eardrum
  • ear tumors
  • ear cysts
  • ear infections
  • alternations in a physical condition of a person (i.e. otosclerosis, otic barotrauma or cholesteatoma)

Middle ear problems happen when fluids fill the area of the middle ear and there is no possibility for an eardrum movements.

Outer ear problems can also have different reasons; however, in all the cases it is not recommended to do anything without medical help. Ear structure is very fine and there is a risk of aggravating the condition, provided that any unguided step is taken.

Conductive Hearing Loss Treatment Options

Good news about conductive hearing loss is that the condition is in many cases temporary and can be treated. Thus, it is recommended to apply for medical help as soon as possible.

There are three possible treatment options depending on the cause and state of the condition:

  • surgical treatment
  • medication treatment (antibiotics, antifungals, etc.)
  • management.

The first is used in cases when the condition was incurred by some trauma and also in cases of middle ear fluid, otosclerosis and cholesteatoma. The second is given preference in cases of infection-incurred conductive hearing loss. Provided that the condition was incurred by the reasons beyond medical control or a patient refuses to have any surgical intervention, hearing loss management is offered – hearing aids. The latter come in a range of variations and they usually cope with the task of sound amplifying and transmission quite well.

In fact, a hearing aid is one of the most common options that people with hearing loss have to resort to. At least, this is the best solution for mild condition cases; when it comes to moderate and severe conditions, the second aforementioned option is offered (if it is possible and advisable).

It should be again taken into consideration that only a qualified physician, an otolaryngologist is able to correctly determine a hearing loss cause as well as determine its type and prescribe the most relevant treatment option and/or hearing aid.

Self-diagnostics as well as self-treatment in cases like this can be fraught with worse consequences as well as it is able to incur other health complications.

More information about conductive hearing loss can be found in this Med EL video:

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