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

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

Brain function, age, overall health, and the genetic makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. You could be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the aggravating experience of hearing people talk but not being able to comprehend what they are saying.

Conductive Hearing Loss

When we yank on our ears, repeatedly swallow, and say again and again to ourselves with growing annoyance, “something’s in my ear,” we may be suffering from conductive hearing loss. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is diminished by problems to the outer and middle ear such as wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and buildup of fluid. Depending on the seriousness of problems going on in your ear, you may be able to understand some individuals, with louder voices, versus catching partial words from others talking in normal or lower tones.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which impacts the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be stopped if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are damaged. Sounds can seem too soft or loud and voices can sound too muddy. If you can’t distinguish voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices in particular, then you may be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.

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