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 impulses or both depending on your precise symptoms.
Brain function, age, general health, and the physical makeup of your ear all play a role in your ability to process sound. If you have the aggravating experience of hearing a person’s voice but not processing or understanding what that person is saying you may be dealing with one or more of the following kinds of loss of hearing.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When we yank on our ears, repeatedly swallow, and say again and again to ourselves with growing annoyance, “something’s in my ear,” we could be suffering from conductive hearing loss. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is diminished by issues to the middle and outer ear including wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. Depending on the severity of problems going on in your ear, you might be able to make out some people, with louder voices, versus hearing partial words from others talking in normal or lower tones.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Damage to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve as well can stop sound signals from going to the brain. Voices may sound slurred or unclean to you, and sounds can come across as either too low or too high. If you cannot separate voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices in particular, then you might be suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.