If you have a hearing problem, it could be something wrong in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate impulses or both depending on your exact symptoms.
Your ability to process sound is determined by several factors such as general health, age, brain function, and genetics. If you have the frustrating experience of hearing a person’s voice but not processing or understanding what that person is saying you may be experiencing one or more of the following types of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You could be suffering from conductive hearing loss if you have to continuously swallow and yank on your ears while saying with growing annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. Problems with the outer and middle ear like fluid in the ear, a buildup of wax, ear infections, or damage to your eardrum all diminish the ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain. Depending on the seriousness of problems going on in your ear, you might be able to make out some people, with louder voices, versus hearing partial words from others speaking in normal or lower tones.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Unlike conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the inner ear. Damage to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve as well can block sound signals from going to the brain. Voices could sound slurred or unclean to you, and sounds can come across as either too low or too high. You’re suffering with high frequency hearing loss, if you have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices or cannot separate voices from the background noise.