Conductive Hearing Loss – What Is It?


Conductive hearing loss (CHL) occurs when there is a problem transferring sound waves anywhere along the pathway through the outer ear, tympanic membrane (eardrum), or middle ear (ossicles). It happens when the passage of sound is blocked in either the ear canal or in the middle ear. The passage of sound may be blocked due to blockages or damaged anatomical structures in the outer ear, ear canal or middle ear. If a conductive hearing loss occurs in conjunction with a sensorineural hearing loss (nerve damage in the inner ear), it is referred to as a mixed hearing loss. People with this type of hearing loss have sound levels reduced on the way to the cochlea in the inner ear.


Conductive hearing loss can be caused by the following factors:
  • Accumulation of ear wax within the ear canal
  • Many episodes of middle ear infection (otitis media)
  • Chronic infection
  • A growth in the middle ear (cholesteatoma)
  • An abnormal bone growth near the middle ear (otosclerosis)
People with this type of hearing loss will find soft sounds difficult to hear at all pitches, both low and high.


There are several types of conductive hearing loss. Some types of can be corrected with hearing aids. If the Corti organ in the cochlea functions normally, hearing aids can help transmit sound in in the outer or middle ear.Other types of conductive hearing loss can be treated medically or surgically. However, medical procedures may not fully reverse the loss. Therefore, people with this type of loss can often benefit from a hearing aid.
If you think that you or any of your loved ones have a hearing loss, call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™  at 772-286-4327 to schedule a free hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.
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