The outer, middle and inner ear make up our ears. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot be transferred through the outer and middle parts of an individual’s ear.
What Is Defined As Conductive Hearing Loss?
In more scientific terms, conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves from the external environment cannot be transmitted to the cochlea.
Conductive hearing loss can result from a variety of reasons, such as impacted earwax or fluid in the outer to middle-ear area.
Some possible causes of this type of hearing loss include:
- Obstruction in the ear canal – caused by wax build up
- Fluid stuck in the middle ear
- Lumps and infections that are blocking the outer or middle ear
- Ossicles that have been dislocated, damaged, or fixed — from trauma or chronic diseases that erode the bones over time or otosclerosis which causes them to harden
- Otitis media is a middle ear infection, the most common infection for pre-school age children
- Deformed ear canal or irregular bone structure in the middle ear
Hearing Loss Prevention
Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can lead to permanent hearing loss, so it is important for those who work around such noise (e.g. construction workers) to use the proper protection when working and visit the doctor for regular tests. Youngsters should avoid (as much as they can) exposing their ears to loud noises.
While medical treatment depends on the underlying cause of hearing loss, a common approach is to first remove foreign bodies and earwax buildup in the ear canal under a microscope by an ENT surgeon.
If the infection persists for over three months or if there is a problem with repeated infections that have discharge, surgical repair might be necessary. If the cause of hearing loss is due to medication, it should be stopped or changed.
Diverse kinds of implants for surgeries have been developed to assist people with hearing loss – such as middle ear implants and bone conduction implants. Bone conduction is used in cases if the person has tried using various devices like hearing aids, but was unable to make it work or had no benefit from it.
Cochlear implants are a treatment option for people with severe hearing loss. A surgeon will insert an electrode into the cochlea to directly stimulate the nerve endings.
Types of hearing aids implants include:
1. Cochlear Implants
2. Middle Ear Implants
3. Bone Conduction Implants
4. Electric and Acoustic Stimulation
5. Auditory Brainstem Implants
Hearing aids are tools that detect and amplify the sound in your environment. They can be used to treat both conductive as well as sensorineural hearing loss, and they come in many shapes and sizes. The audiologist will work with you to find the best device for your situation.