All the causes of conductive hearing losses

Is there anywhere I can get a really good run-down of the different causes and types of conductive hearing loss? I have been all over search engines but keep coming up against the same thing - conductive deafness is normally because you have a cold, it will last about a week and clear up by itself. Not so for my mum (63 years and counting) or me (25 years and counting).

Since I have yet to have any thorough investigation into why I have my hearing loss I’d be interested to know what the other causes are. When it says that it’s “usually temporary” and that other causes are “rare” what are those other causes? And can you have a conductive loss of the absolutely standard congestion type but which persists into adulthood? Particularly, are there any conditions which start conductive and progress into SN and how are these tested for?

The assumption that it must be congestion (“glue ear”) is well-nigh universal, and all anyone ever did was look into my ear and say ooh yes, eardrum is very scarred and damaged. She’ll grow out of it. :mad: If the eardrum becomes scarred then do you still grow out of this condition?

Suggestions on how long to wait and see if it clears up with no action seem to range from 3 months to 12 months, which is a big difference, and what monitoring should be taking place in the meantime to make sure there is no progression or ear damage? I feel like everything I read says conductive deafness, that’s glue ear, it will fix itself so don’t worry about it, but clearly there are adults on here with conductive losses also, can you tell me about it?


I have conductive hearing loss from otosclerosis. About 10% of the population has otosclerosis but only 1 in 10 epxerience symptoms. I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of information on otosclerosis but there is some available through search engines.
I’ve had a progressive hearing loss that was accelerated by my pregnancy a couple years ago. It is hereditary although I was told it skips a generation?

I hope you get more ideas about what may be going on with you and your mom. Good luck!

When the eardrum is scarred it means there is scar tissue which stops it vibrating as well as it should. Scar tissue is very difficult to remove permanently. I have a similar problem.

I could have written this post! I’m new to hearing aids, because I was told as a child/teen that my hearing loss was nerve damage and not reversible. Now that I’m 35 and getting in trouble at work because I hear other things than what are actually said (and usually what I hear is WAY funnier than what they really said), DH and I decided it was time to check it out again. My ENT said we could do surgery but it wasn’t a guarantee, and that in fact he’d mostly just be looking around in there to see if there is anything he could do. I could still need hearing aids, so I decided to skip surgery and go with hearing aids.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing if anyone else has any responses.

While I can’t speak for the person that posted that they have scar tissue…Scar tissue located on the eardrum (which is really the Tympanic Membrane separating the ear canal from the middle ear space where the bones of hearing are located) is most commonly caused by repetitive ear infections or trauma done to the Membrane often from placement of pressure equalization tubes, not from cleaning of the ears. It has to be pretty bad to actually cause a conductive hearing loss. Most people can have scar tissue and have no effect on their hearing.

Also, cleaning of the ears should rarely be traumatic as the goal is to make as little contact with the walls of the ear canal as possible. The ear is a self-cleaning system which shouldn’t require cleaning unless it has lost the ability or something is preventing the ear from regulating itself.

Hi yes I am the unfortunate person with the scar tissue. Basically my condition is called ‘acquired stenosis of the external auditory ear canal’. Half of the ear canal is filled with scar tissue and as a result has covered the ear drum (on both ears). I have had surgery but unfortunately it has grown back. It doesn’t for everyone though. I am just hoping and praying that something (eg an ointment) will be come out in the not so distant future. It is a very fustrating problem indeed! I think I got it from previous ear infections and very itchy ears. I didn’t help though as I was always sticking q tips in to stop the itching!!

Ah…that’s a different kind of scar tissue than I was talking/thinking about.

Any time there are growths on the ear canal they can be really hard to remove successfully since traumatizing the canal wall just causes more scar tissue to grow.

Oh I didn’t know that. So perhaps it was better to leave all well alone? I have read up on the internet about skin grafts but my consultant said it is a very painful procedure and not always successful. I find it hard to believe that this condition cannot be corrected surgically in these times. Someone mentioned the use of a scent (similar to heart problems)?

I find it hard to believe that this condition cannot be corrected surgically in these times.

So michelle is it a temporary hearing loss or permanent coz I heard from one of my friends that his son(2 year old) is suffering from Conductive hearing loss.

I had a conductive hearing loss due repeated childhood ear infections, resulting in loss of my eardrums (1st tympanoplasty around age15). Age 18 had 2nd set of tympanoplasty with what I think is called ossiculoplasty. Here’s how I describe it…all those ear infection at some point made my eardrums disintegrate, therefore my middle ear had no protection, and those 3 little bones fell apart. The surgeon (best in the world in my opinion) drilled out part of the mastoid bone, rebuilt those tiny little bones with my cartaliage, and gave me a new eardrum from tissue from just above my ear. After recovery I learned that florescent light bulbs make a buzzing noise! 25 years later I did have to have one of the ears redone. He did tell me that hearing aides would not have helped back then. Increasing the volume doesn’t help if it can’t go from the eardrum to the inner ear. At age 56 I need to go see him again, as my hearing is pretty bad these days, hence my exploring this site. Sorry for the londwinded reply.

Actually this is incorrect. Even a maximum conductive loss, if the cochlea is completely healthy, is about 60dB. That means that even without an eardrum at all, once the sound reaches around that level you should be able to hear it. Eventually sound will be loud enough to get transmitted to the cochlea regardless of whether there is a functioning ossicular chain or not. So if your bone conduction thresholds (how well your cochlea can hear) is at 15dB @1000Hz, without any ossicular chain you’ll hear that sound around 70-80dB…there is some variation between people and frequencies but in general, thresholds with a maximum conductive loss are around 60dB above bone conduction thresholds.