If you have a hearing issue, it could be a problem with your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your exact symptoms.
Age, general wellness, brain function, and the physical makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. If you have the aggravating experience of hearing a person’s voice but not being able to process or understand what that person is saying you might be experiencing one or more of the following types of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You might be experiencing conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and tug on your ears while saying with growing irritation “There’s something in my ear”. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is diminished by problems to the outer and middle ear like wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. You may still be able to hear some people with louder voices while only partly hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Unlike conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be blocked if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are damaged. Sounds can seem too loud or soft and voices can come across too muddy. If you can’t differentiate voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you may be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.