Causes of conductive deafness and how to treat it

Conductive deafness is a condition where sound cannot enter the inner ear due to problems with the parts of the ear. This hearing loss can be caused by several things, ranging from earwax blockage, infection, to tumors inside the ear.

The process of hearing begins with sound waves being captured by the ear canal and making the auditory bones in the middle ear vibrate. The vibrations then stimulate nerve cells in the inner ear to pass on to the brain.

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The process of transmitting sound from the ear to the nerves so that it can be processed by the brain is what makes the ear able to hear. If there is damage or disturbance to the ear, hearing loss will occur. One problem that occurs quite often is conductive deafness.

Causes of Conductive Deafness

Conductive deafness is a type of deafness that occurs due to hearing bone or connective tissue disorders in the ear. In addition, this deafness can also be caused by a disorder of the ear nerves or brain (sensorineural deafness).

People with conductive deafness will have difficulty hearing quiet sounds. Meanwhile, louder sounds may be heard quietly. This hearing loss is most common in children who have recurrent ear infections or often insert foreign objects into their ear canals.

The occurrence of conductive deafness can be caused by many factors, including:

  • Fluid in the middle ear during colds or allergies
  • Middle ear infection (otitis media) or ear canal infection (otitis externa)
  • Infection of the eustachian tubes that connect the middle ear and nose
  • Tumors blocking the middle and outer ear
  • Earwax that blocks the ear canal
  • Ear deformities due to birth defects, injury or surgery to the ear
  • Otosclerosis

Conductive Deafness Treatment

The treatment of conductive deafness will be adjusted to the cause and severity of the deafness suffered by the patient. Some methods that doctors usually use to treat conductive deafness are:

1. Earwax removal

There are several methods for cleaning earwax. One of them is ear irrigation by spraying sterile salt water (saline liquid) or mineral oil into the ear to dilute earwax. This method can only be done by an ENT doctor.

If you want to clean your ears at home, find out more or ask your doctor about how to clean your ears safely.

2. Ear infection treatment

If there is an infection in the outer, middle or inner ear, the doctor will provide antibiotic treatment in the form of ear drops or medication.

In certain cases, surgery may also be required if there is an injury or pus build-up in the middle ear that makes the eardrum inflamed and swollen. This surgery can be done to help remove the pus from the ear cavity and prevent the eardrum from rupturing.

3. Hearing aid fitting

Hearing aids are placed behind the ear or in the ear canal. These hearing aids work by converting sound vibrations into electrical impulses to be received by the auditory nerve.

With hearing aids, people with conductive deafness will find it easier to hear certain sounds that were previously difficult to hear.

4. Cochlear implant

The cochlear implant procedure is preferred for people with sensorineural deafness. However, cochlear implant surgery can also be performed on people with severe conductive deafness or not helped by hearing aids.

This operation aims to install a device in the inner ear so that sounds from outside can be captured by the ear nerves. With this, it is hoped that the hearing process can be helped.

How to Prevent Hearing Loss

To reduce your risk of developing conductive deafness or other hearing loss, you can do the following:

  • Avoid listening to television, radio or music at too loud a volume.
  • Use ear protection, such as ear muffs or ear plugs, to minimize sounds that are too loud.
  • Avoid putting your fingers or objects such as cotton buds, cotton wool, cloths and tissues into your ears.
  • Get regular hearing checks at least once every year or two, especially if you are a musician or work in a noisy environment.

Because the function of hearing is so important, keep your ears and hearing organs healthy to prevent conductive deafness or other hearing loss.

If you feel that your hearing ability has decreased suddenly or is getting worse every day, go to the doctor immediately to get the right examination and treatment.

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