If you have a hearing issue, it might be a problem with your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.
Your ability to process sound is governed by a number of variables like general health, age, brain function, and genetics. You could be dealing with one of the following types of hearing loss if you have the frustrating experience of hearing people speak but not being able to comprehend what they are saying.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When we tug on our ears, repeatedly swallow, and say again and again to ourselves with increasing irritation, “There’s something in my ear,” we may be experiencing conductive hearing loss. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is decreased by problems to the middle and outer ear such as wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and buildup of fluid. You may still be capable of hearing some people with louder voices while only partially hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Where conductive hearing loss can be triggered by outer- and middle-ear problems, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Damage to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve itself can block sound signals from going to the brain. Sounds can seem too soft or loud and voices can come across too muddy. If you can’t differentiate voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.