If you have a hearing problem, it could be something wrong in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to process signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.
Age, general wellness, brain function, and the genetic makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. You might be dealing with one of the following types of hearing loss if you have the annoying experience of hearing people speak but not being able to understand what they are saying.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You may be suffering from conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and yank on your ears while saying with increasing annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. Issues with the middle and outer ear like fluid in the ear, earwax buildup, ear infections, or eardrum damage all reduce the ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain. You might still be capable of hearing some people with louder voices while only partly hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be blocked if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are injured. Sounds can seem too soft or loud and voices can come across too muddy. If you cannot separate voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you may be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.