If you can hear sounds and make out some words but not others, or you can’t differentiate between someone’s voice and surrounding noise, your hearing issue could be in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or in your brain’s ability to process signals, or both.
Age, general wellness, brain function, and the genetic makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. If you have the annoying experience being able to hear a person’s voice but not processing or understanding what that person is saying you could be dealing with one or more of the following kinds of hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
You might be experiencing conductive hearing loss if you have to continuously swallow and tug on your ears while saying with growing annoyance “There’s something in my ear”. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is decreased by issues to the outer and middle ear such as wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and buildup of fluid. You may still be able to hear some people with louder voices while only partly hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, 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 from going to the brain. Voices could sound slurred or muddy to you, and sounds can come across as either too high or too low. You’re suffering with high frequency hearing loss, if you have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices or cannot distinguish voices from the background noise.