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Conductive Hearing Loss - Learn more about this type of hearing loss

Updated 03/09/2021

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Causes, symptoms & treatment

Conductive Hearing Loss - An introduction

Out of the main types of hearing loss, conductive hearing loss is the most easily treated and least common.  All types of hearing loss affect people differently and need different treatments and rehabilitation.  But, like all other forms of hearing loss – it is better to educate ourselves about conductive hearing loss and understand what the causes are. 

Even though this type of hearing loss is rare and there are some cases of permanent hearing loss - it is generally only temporary and, in many cases, curable. 


So, what is conductive hearing loss? 

It is a form of hearing loss that results in the sound being unable to reach the inner ear.  Such as a blockage, eardrum damage or a narrow ear canal.  It can also be easily split into two different variations:  inner ear and middle ear hearing loss. 

For example, the outer ear is made of the ear canal opening and the middle ear consists of small bones.  When the sound goes through the ear it travels through both these areas to get to the inner ear.  This is where the cochlea processes sound vibrations.  If this process is blocked it is called conductive hearing loss.  This is usually caused by an ear infection or a build-up of wax.


What causes conductive hearing loss?

This type of hearing loss can also be present at birth, usually caused by afflictions like microtia (an underdeveloped ear).  But here are some other causes below:


Conductive Hearing Loss - Inner Ear:



Conductive Hearing Loss - Middle Ear:



Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

What are the symptoms of conductive hearing loss?


What are the treatments for conductive hearing loss?

There are various treatments available to treat conductive hearing loss.  Here are a few of the main options:


  1. It is common that an ear infection or wax build-up is the cause of conductive hearing loss.  Whatever the cause it can be dangerous if left untreated.  For example, if you have earwax it is important to not attempt to remove it yourself.  Do not insert anything into your ears and contact your local audiologist who might refer you to your GP depending on the diagnosis.
  2. If you are suffering from frequent ear infections you need to talk to your GP about antibiotics and future treatment, as it can cause ear canal scaring.  Never leave an ear infection to worsen over time or rely solely on home remedies to treat your ears.
  3. Some types of conductive hearing loss can be corrected with digital hearing aids by helping to transmit sound in the outer or middle ear.
  4. Tumours, growth or protrusions of the ear are usually treated in surgery procedures to irradicate the issue(s). 


Other hearing loss information:


Hearing Loss Facts  >>  Read Now

Hearing Loss Links   >>  Read Now

Hearing Loss Treatments  >>  Read Now

Hearing Loss Causes   >>  Read Now

Mixed Hearing Loss   >>  Read Now

Sensorineural Hearing Loss  >>  Read Now

This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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