If you can hear voices and make out some words but not others, or you can’t differentiate between somebody’s voice and nearby noise, your hearing problem could be in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or in your brain’s capability of processing signals, or both.
Brain function, age, general health, and the genetic makeup of your ear all play a role in your ability to process sound. You may be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the frustrating 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 repeatedly swallow and yank 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 decreased by problems to the outer and middle ear like wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and buildup of fluid. Depending on the severity of problems going on in your ear, you could 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 affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Damage to the inner ear’s hair-like cells or the auditory nerve itself can stop sound signals from going 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 cannot differentiate voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you may be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.