Can Conductive Hearing Loss Be Cured

The process of hearing begins when sound waves or vibrations in the air reach the outside of the ear. The ear has three major parts: the external ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. A sound wave enters through the external part and reaches the middle ear via the auditory canal and the tympanic membrane or ear drum. The ossicles in the middle ear are connected to the inner part where the auditory nerve is. This nerve catches the sound wave and transmits it to the brain which helps us to understand the wave as a sound. Hearing loss can occur at any of these stages.

Generally, a hearing loss is either conductive or sensory. Conductive hearing loss occurs due to some damage to the external or middle ear. Sound waves cannot reach the auditory canal through the tympanic membrane and the ossicles. Sensory hearing loss takes place in the inner ear and the auditory nerve. Even if the sound waves reach the inner ear, they do not get transmitted to the brain. A physical examination can diagnose a hearing loss.

A doctor can take a look directly into the ear of the patient or use a tuning fork to determine the hearing range of the patient. Audiometer is another device for detecting loss of hearing.

Sensory hearing loss is a serious problem as it cannot be cured often. Conductive hearing loss can be treated and hearing restored to a great extent. A blockage in the auditory canal can be removed easily. Antibiotics can cure infections in the middle ear. The middle ear can also be drained through the tympanic membrane when necessary. This membrane heals quite quickly after such a surgery. Tympanic membranes that are damaged can be repaired with a skin graft. The disease otosclerosis leads to the binding of the ossicles to each other. To replace such damaged ossicles artificial parts can be used.

Conductive hearing loss is often due to fluid accumulation in the middle ear, some kind of infection, or wax build up in the ear canal. Sometimes, an accidental entry of a foreign object can also lead to hearing loss. Ear wax should be removed with the correct instruments and by someone experienced. Otherwise, the wax can be pushed deeper into the canal. A tumor in the auditory canal can stop most sounds from passing down the canal. If a sharp object gets inserted into the ear it can break the tympanic membrane. Damage to the middle ear can be caused by high water pressure due to a deep-sea dive. If fluids from the throat pass down the Eustachian tube the middle ear gets infected.

Conductive hearing loss can be prevented if proper care is taken. Throat and upper respiratory tract infections need to be monitored to stop the spreading of infection to the ears. If infection at all occurs in the ears they should be treated immediately. People working in a noisy surrounding can use a headgear to protect the ears from loud noise.

Conductive hearing loss is most seen in children. It is usually mild in nature and can occur in one or both the ears.