Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss makes it hard for sounds to get to your inner ear. Audiologists can help if you have this type of hearing loss.

About Conductive Hearing Loss

Your ear is made up of three parts — the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. A conductive hearing loss happens when sounds cannot get through the outer and middle ear. It may be hard to hear soft sounds. Louder sounds may be muffled.

Medicine or surgery can often fix this type of hearing loss.

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss can be caused by the following:

  • Fluid in your middle ear from colds or allergies.
  • Ear infection, or otitis media. Otitis is a term used to mean ear infection, and media means middle.
  • Poor Eustachian tube function. The Eustachian tube connects your middle ear and your nose. Fluid in the middle ear can drain out through this tube. Fluid can stay in the middle ear if the tube does not work correctly.
  • A hole in your eardrum.
  • Benign tumors. These tumors are not cancer but can block the outer or middle ear.
  • Earwax , or cerumen, stuck in your ear canal.
  • Infection in the ear canal, called external otitis. You may hear this called swimmer’s ear.
  • An object stuck in your outer ear. An example might be if your child put a pebble in his ear when playing outside.
  • A problem with how the outer or middle ear is formed. Some people are born without an outer ear. Some may have a deformed ear canal or have a problem with the bones in their middle ear.