Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

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Conductive hearing loss is a specific type of hearing impairment that takes away the ear’s ability to take in sound from the middle and outer ear. The sound that comes through with conductive hearing impairment is almost always muffled and hard to distinguish.

As sensorineural hearing impairment is found in the inner ear, conductive is found during the process of your ear conducting sound coming into the canal. If you feel as if you are experiencing symptoms of conductive hearing impairment, it is important to contact us at La Canada Hearing for an examination of your canal and eardrum to avoid any further damage being done to your hearing health. If the cause of the loss of your hearing is from wax build-up or fluids; chances are your hearing could decrease even further if it is not treated accordingly.

Symptoms of Conductive Hearing Loss

  • Muffled Hearing- Noises sound as if they are coming from the inside of a box or almost impossible to hear.
  • Ear Pain- Sharp pain inside your ear canal that happens on a regular basis.
  • Pressure- The feeling as if your ears are about to pop at any moment or are extremely clogged.
  • Tinnitus- Whistling or buzzing that only you can hear.
  • Discharge- Caused by an infection within your ear canal which is common with conductive hearing loss.

Causes of Conductive Hearing Impairment

  • Infection- Letting an infection go for a period of time without seeking treatment and taking antibiotics.
  • Fluid- Untreated hearing loss and fluid buildup in the middle ear for a period of time while which normally consists of draining the canal.
  • Scars- Scar tissue on the eardrum or close to it.
  • Otosclerosis- Condition where a bone grows in the middle ear and prevents the ear from working properly and allowing sound to be distinguished.
  • Wax Buildup- Untreated hearing loss due to wax buildup is from not cleaning your ears on a regular basis and allowing the wax to build up in the canal and around the eardrum.


Treatments for this type of hearing impairment is based upon the severity of your hearing condition and where the cause lies within your ear. Below is a brief list of treatment options available to you depending upon your diagnosis.


If the damage to your ears is minimal and you are experiencing minimal hearing impairment, chances are we will want to observe your condition before treating hearing loss and proceeding with fitting you for an assistive hearing device. Observation will include hearing tests and regular appointments to figure out if your symptoms are getting better or worsening.

Hearing Aid

If a hearing loss is detected, you may benefit from hearing aids or other assistive listening devices for treating hearing loss. We will recommend devices that will be most beneficial to you. By conducting a series of hearing tests, we will be able to find the most suitable style and fit for you and your hearing health while trying to keep you as comfortable as possible.


Conditions that may require you to undergo surgical procedures are bony lesions, Cholesteatoma, holes in the eardrum, retraction of the tympanic membrane, or damage to the bones in the middle ear.

Treating hearing loss that falls under the conductive category consists of a series of tests and appointments to target exactly where your hearing impairment is coming from. Causes of this particular type of hearing impairment are normally due to wax build-up, or scar tissue which may require surgery depending upon the severity of it. We will work with you to make the final decision on what type of treatment will best benefit you. By visiting us at La Canada Hearing, you will be able to receive professional insight into your hearing impairment in hopes to achieve the best results.