What is Conductive Hearing Loss and How to Treat It?
Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear due to a problem with the ear canal, eardrum, or the tiny bones in the middle ear. This can cause hearing impairment, which can be temporary or permanent. Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss occurs because the sound entering the ear is reduced or dampened by an obstruction, rather than damage to the nerves in the inner ear.
Potential Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss
There are several potential causes of conductive hearing loss. Some of these are easy to treat, while others may require more complex medical interventions. Malformation of the outer or middle ear structures, a middle ear infection that results in fluid buildup behind the eardrum, abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, a hole in the eardrum, or poor Eustachian tube function may all contribute to conductive hearing loss. In rare cases, more serious underlying medical conditions may be responsible for conductive hearing loss, and if left untreated, can lead to profound medical consequences.
Effective Treatment Options for Conductive Hearing Loss
The most appropriate treatment for conductive hearing loss depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Antibiotics or antifungal medications are typically prescribed for ear infections. Surgery is often the recommended treatment for malformed or abnormal outer or middle ear structures and other physical problems. When surgery is not feasible, hearing aids are often the most effective option, as they can significantly improve hearing and are easy to use. Implantable hearing devices, such as a bone-anchored hearing aid, may also be an excellent alternative when neither surgery nor a traditional hearing aid are viable options.
Getting Help for Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is a common condition that can cause significant hearing impairment. However, with proper medical intervention, many cases of conductive hearing loss can be effectively treated or even reversed. It is essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing hearing problems, as early intervention can help prevent more serious medical consequences.
To learn more about the audiology services we offer at Professional Hearing Management, contact us today. Our hearing center is located in Valparaiso, IN, and serves the local community.