If you can hear voices and make out some words but not others, or you can’t differentiate between someone’s voice and surrounding noise, your hearing problem 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 physical makeup of your ear all play a role in your ability to process sound. You could be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the annoying experience of hearing people speak but not being able to comprehend what they are saying.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When we yank on our ears, repeatedly swallow, and say over and over to ourselves with growing irritation, “something’s in my ear,” we may be experiencing conductive hearing loss. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is decreased by problems to the middle and outer 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 people, with louder voices, versus hearing 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. Sounds to the brain can be stopped if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are damaged. Voices could sound slurred or unclean to you, and sounds can come across as either too low or too high. You’re suffering with high frequency hearing loss, if you have a hard time hearing women and children’s voices or cannot separate voices from the background noise.