When a person has trouble hearing because of the ear’s inability to conduct sound waves, she is said to be suffering from conductive hearing loss. This variety of hearing loss can come from an obstruction in the ear canal, but also from a malformation or congenital absence in the ear. Many varieties of conductive hearing loss are treatable, allowing the patient to enjoy normal hearing.

Numerous hereditary issues can cause conductive hearing loss. For instance, a person may be born with an unopened ear canal, or their ear canal might not have developed at all. Malformation of inner ear structures can hinder proper hearing. Some of these congenital problems can be remedied via surgery. Others are best treated with hearing aids. Conductive hearing loss isn’t often caused by congenital issues.

Among the more common causes of conductive hearing loss is fluid or wax buildup in the outer ear. Ear wax buildup and infections of the ear can decrease one’s ability to hear clearly. Washing the ear can be enough to remove wax buildup, while prescription antibiotics may be required to address an infection.

Accumulation in the middle ear may also result in conductive hearing loss. The most typical reason for this issue is fluid accumulation. Commonly attributable to ear infections, this issue is common in children. The common cold and allergies may cause sinus pressure, which then exerts pressure on the inner ear and interfere with a person’s hearing. A uncommon reason for hearing loss in the middle ear is tumors.

Perforated eardrums or foreign bodies in the ear canal are other issues that may contribute to conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss commonly happens on its own, but it can coincide with other types of hearing loss. Consult a hearing care specialist immediately if you experience any unexplained hearing loss. In many cases full hearing can be recovered with appropriate treatment.