Conductive Hearing Loss: Causes and Treatments

Conductive hearing loss is one of the three major forms of hearing loss. It occurs when problems with the outer ear or eardrum prevent sound from travelling to the inner ear. Quite simply, if sound cannot travel to the inner ear, it cannot be heard.

What Causes It?

There are many causes behind conductive hearing loss. Impacted ear wax is the most common. It is also possible for it to be caused by a perforated or ruptured eardrum. Ear canals themselves are quite sensitive. The intrusion of foreign objects can cause damage leading to conductive hearing loss. This could be why most medical professionals advise against sticking cotton tips into your ears.

Chronic middle ear infections or excess fluid in the middle ear are also known to cause it. It is also possible for physical changes in the ear to cause conductive hearing loss. These changes are usually caused by cholesteatoma, tumors or otosclerosis.

Are There Treatments?

The treatment to this issue will depend on its cause. Impacted ear wax can be easily resolved, while infections can be treated with antibiotics. If the cause of conductive hearing loss is a physical damage, there is the possibility of this being corrected via surgery.

However, if it falls into the category of not being fit for surgery, a hearing aid is the best option. The extent of the damage will determine the specific hearing aid required. If the hearing is not completely lost, a general hearing aid is fine. In instances where the hearing is completely gone in one ear, a CROS aid may be required. This particular type of aid sits in the affected ear. It sends any sound heard to the opposite ear by transmitting signals to a receiver.


Conductive hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. As seen above there are many causes of it, and also many treatments. It’s important, as with any illness or disability, to track any symptoms to ensure you receive care or treatment for this as early as possible. This is the best way to ensure your future hearing health.

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