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

If you have a hearing problem, it might 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.

Brain function, age, overall health, and the genetic makeup of your ear all play a role in your ability to process sound. You could be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the annoying experience of hearing people speak but not being able to understand what they are saying.

Conductive Hearing Loss

You could be suffering from conductive hearing loss if you have to continuously swallow and tug on your ears while saying with increasing irritation “There’s something in my ear”. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is lessened by issues to the middle and outer ear like wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and buildup of fluid. You might still be capable of hearing some people with louder voices while only partly hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.

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 as well can block sound signals to the brain. Voices may sound slurred or muddy to you, and sounds can come across as either too high or too low. If you can’t differentiate voices from background noise or have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices in particular, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.

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