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Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a blockage or damage in the outer or middle ear. Sometimes the problem is temporary and treatable, for example when there is wax in the outer ear. Otitis media means the middle ear is infected and the ossicles or tiny bones in the middle ear are unable to function properly and the ear drum will not pass sound in the form of vibrations to the middle ear effectively. Otitis media can be short lived (acute) or longterm (chronic) and may occur with effusion – often then called “glue ear”. This is particularly common in children and can cause difficulties in learning to talk and at school. It may be treated by insertion of a grommet into the ear drum and the draining of the fluid in the middle ear to enable the infection to clear up. Hearing aids or bone-anchored hearing implant will be recommended in ongoing cases. 

 Conductive hearing losses could be caused by:

  • middle ear disease
  • perforation (hole) of the ear drum
  • collapsed or very narrow ear canals
  • atresia/microtia – a malformation of the ear canal or outer ear
  • long standing glue ear
  • otosclerosis – fusing of bones in the middle ear
  • ongoing or chronic ear infections
  • syndromes – such as Down syndrome and Treacher Collins