Woman can't hear the television while watching with friends.

If you have a hearing issue, it might be something wrong in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to translate signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.

Your ability to process sound is determined by several factors such as overall health, age, brain function, and genetics. You might be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the aggravating experience of hearing people speak but not being able to understand what they are saying.

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 annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is decreased by problems to the outer and middle ear including wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. Depending on the severity of problems going on in your ear, you could be able to make out some people, with louder voices, versus catching partial words from others speaking in normal or lower tones.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Where conductive hearing loss can be induced by outer- and middle-ear issues, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Injury to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve itself can block sound signals to the brain. Voices might sound slurred or unclean to you, and sounds can come across as either too low or too high. If you can’t distinguish voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.

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