Conductive hearing loss - what is it and what can help?
By a mechanical chain in which your eardrum, your ossicles and your labyrinth plays an important role, the sound from the air is transmitted into your ears and converted in the nerve fibers. Experts also refer to this process as transduction. If you have conductive hearing loss, this conduction of sound is disturbed. So your hearing is limited accordingly. With us you can find out everything about conductive hearing loss, we will be happy to explain you.
In this article you will find all the important information about conductive hearing loss. We will give you detailed information about the diagnosis, the symptoms and also the causes. You can also learn everything about the possible forms of treatment with us. If you have any questions, you are welcome to call our experts and take advantage of a free, non-binding consultation from us. Simply dial our phone number and do not hesitate any longer.
Why does conductive hearing loss occur?
There can be different causes for this type of hearing loss. Usually the external auditory canal or the area of the middle ear is affected. The mechanisms underlying hearing loss can be very diverse. Typical causes are:
- Inflamed areas
- Scar changes
- Otitis media
- Earwax plugs and constipation
- foreign body
- External otitis
- Temporal bone fracture
In everyday life, with this type of hearing loss, you can only hear the noises softly. A conversation is very exhausting for you. It is not just the quality of the noise that is crucial, but the way in which you can perceive high and low notes. Most of the time, you'll feel like you're listening through cotton balls or wearing earplugs.
There are different ways and methods of diagnosing conductive hearing loss. One example is otoscopy.
In otoscopy will determine if there is a foreign body in your ear canal or if the eardrum is injured. Typical foreign bodies are, for example, ear wax. A middle ear effusion can also be excluded.
The Weber test works a little differently. During this test, the hard-of-hearing ear is then lateralized. This means that you can hear the sound louder during this test. This test means that the doctor will place a battered tuning fork on the top of your head. Usually, you should be able to hear the sound equally loud in both ears.
The Rinne experiment also shows a disturbance in sound conduction. The struck tuning fork is placed on the bone behind your ear. It then waits until you can no longer hear any sound. The tuning fork, which is still vibrating, is then brought in front of your ear and you should be able to perceive the tones again through the air duct. But if you can't, the result is a negative Rinne attempt.
With a tympanogram determines how flexible your eardrum is. When you have exactly the same pressure in the middle ear as in the external ear canal, the eardrum vibrates normally. If, on the other hand, there is a pressure difference, your vibration behavior also changes, which in turn influences the transmission of the sound. Through this examination, your doctor can determine, for example, increased pressure from an effusion or other causes. The same also applies to a reduced pressure if, for example, there is a ventilation problem. This way, the cause of your conductive hearing loss can be better localized.
With a subjective test or a tone threshold audiogram, the doctor determines whether there is a disturbance in the air conduction or in the bone conduction. The goal is to tell the difference whether it is conductive hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss. In this case, the air conduction curve is considered; the significantly higher decibel values are compared with the bone conduction values. So that you can hear sounds through the bone conduction, louder sounds are also necessary. In the case of a hearing loss, however, the sound is more difficult to conduct via the air.
What therapy options do I have for conductive hearing loss?
The decisive factor is always the degree of disability in the case of conductive hearing loss. Treatment can be complicated or simple. If it is because of the wax in the ear, it can be quickly and easily fixed and removed manually. It looks a little different with a ventilation problem. This can also be brought under control with medication. A nasal decongestant spray is an example of this.
A small incision in the eardrum is sufficient, for example, to relieve a tympanic effusion. This allows the secretion to drain away, so that the hearing loss is eliminated. The small cut heals quickly on its own.
This happens particularly often in childhood. In this case, a so-called ventilation tube can be inserted. This leaves the hole in the eardrum open and prevents further inflammation. The same is true of effusions.
However, if there are other causes of hearing loss, such as inflammatory processes or otosclerosis, the treatment is a little more complicated. Certain diseases destroy the ossicles, so that complex procedures are required. With today's modern procedures for operations it is possible to replace at least parts of the ossicles. Hearing aids can also provide optimal help for conductive hearing loss. This will help you restore your hearing.