If you have a hearing issue, it may be a problem with your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.
Brain function, age, general health, and the genetic makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. If you have the aggravating experience of hearing a person’s voice but not being able to process or understand what that person is saying you may be experiencing one or more of the following kinds of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You may be experiencing conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and yank on your ears while saying with increasing annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is diminished by issues to the middle and outer ear such as wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. You might still be capable of hearing some people with louder voices while only partially hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Where conductive hearing loss can be triggered by outer- and middle-ear problems, 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. Voices could sound slurred or unclean to you, and sounds can come across as either too high or too low. You’re experiencing high frequency hearing loss, if you have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices or can’t distinguish voices from the background noise.