Last week, we introduced conductive hearing loss. As we previously mentioned, there are other types of hearing loss which a local ENT doctor can examine a patient for. This week, we are diving into the details of conductive hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss:

In the most recent article, we shared that Conductive Hearing Loss is more of a physical harm done to the ear more than anything. It is more rare than the other two types of hearing losses we are going to break down. Conductive hearing loss takes place where there is a physical obstruction.

Conductive hearing is caused by something that is blocking the sound from reading the inner ear. The sound comes from outside of the ear and must travel through the outside and middle ear. When there is an obstruction, the sound doesn’t reach the inner ear which allows the brain to translated the message.

Conductive hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing can either be temporary or permanent. The length of its effects depends on the causes.

Outer ear Causes:

The causes of conductive hearing loss may vary greatly due to the party of the ear that is affected. Either the outer or middle ear may be affected. If there is narrowing of the ear canal, called stenosis, this can cause muffling.

Wax impaction, or a great buildup of ear wax, may cause other effects. Exostoses is a protrusion similar to bone matter that can develop inside the ear canal and cause potential blockages. Otitis externa, also called swimmer’s ear, is a perfect example of a temporary type of conductive hearing loss.

Obstructions caused by foreign bodies inserted into the ear will cause different effects than those of swimmer’s ear. Foreign bodies may leave lasting effects long after they have been removed. For instance, if a child inserts a tiny doll shoe inside of the ear, it may leave scratches which may fall infected.

Those lasting effects may gradually increase in severity. Over time, the scabbing and healing process may pose new threats and hearing obstructions. Lastly, microtia can cause conductive hearing gloss of the outer ear.

Middle ear causes:

If the cause of conductive hearing loss comes from the middle ear, it may be caused by a breach in the tympanic membrane, or ear drum, caused by injury. They may also be caused by ear infections or extreme, or rapid, air pressure changes. This is not unheard of in the flying or base jumping community.

Tympanosclerosis is the thickening of the tympanic membrane. This issue can cause a loss of hearing due to the thickening. Otitis media, or an ear infection, causes hearing loss as fluid builds up in the middle ear. Check out previous articles about this issue.

Remember that lasting effects of ear infections can later cause more serious hearing loss in adults, so take care of your loved ones ear infections by promptly pointing them to the doctor. Next week, we are sharing more about conductive hearing loss causes and potential treatment options.

Stop by next time for more information on this topic. We hope you enjoyed learning something new. Take care of your hearing and prevent ear infections while flying and partaking in outdoor actives this summer.

Staff Writer

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