What is conductive hearing loss?

Your ear is made up of three sections; the outer, middle, and inner ear. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is an obstruction (blockage) in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from passing through them properly.  This type of hearing loss can be treated or managed depending on what is causing the conductive impairment.

What causes conductive hearing loss?

There are many reasons a person could have conductive hearing loss:  

  • A foreign body in the ear canal/s
  • Impacted wax in the ear canal/s
  • Fluid in the middle ear due to colds or allergies (otitis media)
  • An ear infection  
  • A hole in the ear drum/s (perforation)
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction  
  • Abnormal growth in the ear canal/s
  • Abnormal formation of the outer ear (atresia/microtia)
  • Damage to the bones in the middle ear
  • Failed surgery  

What happens next?

In most cases, conductive hearing loss can be successfully managed by treating the underlying cause.

For example, blockage in the ear canal due to wax can be treated by having wax removed. If there is fluid in the ear, antibiotics may be prescribed by your GP to help resolve the infection.  In some cases, the use of a hearing aid or hearing aids can be beneficial to help with the transmission of sound.

If a conventional hearing aid fails to provide any benefit, the use of a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is an option. More information regarding a BAHA can be provided upon request; please do not hesitate to contact your audiologist for further assistance.