If you have a hearing problem, it might be a problem with your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to process signals or both depending on your precise symptoms.
Your ability to process sound is governed by a number of factors like overall health, age, brain function, and genetics. You may be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the frustrating experience of hearing people speak but not being able to understand what they are saying.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You may be experiencing conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and tug on your ears while saying with growing annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. Issues with the outer and middle ear like fluid in the ear, a buildup of wax, ear infections, or eardrum damage all reduce the ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain. Depending on the severity of issues going on in your ear, you could be able to understand some individuals, with louder voices, versus catching partial words from others talking in normal or lower tones.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Injury to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve as well can stop sound signals to the brain. Sounds can seem too loud or soft and voices can sound too muddy. If you can’t distinguish voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.