If you have a hearing issue, it may be something wrong in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.
Your ability to process sound is governed by several factors such as general health, age, brain function, and genetics. You might be dealing with one of the following types of hearing loss if you have the aggravating experience of hearing people talk but not being able to understand what they are saying.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When we yank on our ears, continuously swallow, and say again and again to ourselves with increasing aggravation, “There’s something in my ear,” we may be experiencing conductive hearing loss. Problems with the middle and outer ear like fluid in the ear, earwax buildup, ear infections, or eardrum damage all diminish the ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain. Depending on the severity of issues going on in your ear, you could be able to understand some people, with louder voices, versus catching partial words from others speaking in normal or lower tones.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which impacts the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be blocked if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are damaged. Sounds can seem too soft or loud and voices can come across too muddy. If you can’t distinguish voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.