If you have a hearing problem, it may be a problem with your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your exact symptoms.
Age, overall wellness, brain function, and the physical makeup of your ear all play a role in your ability to process sound. If you have the aggravating experience being able to hear a person’s voice but not being able to process or understand what that person is saying you may be experiencing one or more of the following kinds of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When we tug on our ears, continuously swallow, and say over and over to ourselves with growing annoyance, “something’s in my ear,” we may be experiencing conductive hearing loss. Issues with the middle and outer ear like fluid in the ear, earwax buildup, ear infections, or damage to your eardrum all diminish the ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain. Depending on the seriousness of issues going on in your ear, you could be able to understand some people, with louder voices, versus hearing partial words from others speaking in normal or lower tones.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Where conductive hearing loss can be brought about by outer- and middle-ear issues, Sensorineural hearing loss affects 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 loud or soft and voices can sound too muddy. You’re experiencing high frequency hearing loss, if you have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices or can’t distinguish voices from the background noise.