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

If you have a hearing issue, it might be something wrong in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or your brain’s ability to process signals or both depending on your specific symptoms.

Brain function, age, general health, and the physical makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. You may 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 understand what they are saying.

Conductive Hearing Loss

You may be experiencing conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and yank 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 diminished by problems to the middle and outer ear such as wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. Depending on the seriousness of issues going on in your ear, you may be able to make out some people, with louder voices, versus hearing partial words from others speaking in normal or lower tones.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Unlike conductive hearing loss, which impacts the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be blocked if the auditory nerve or the hair like nerves are injured. Sounds can seem too loud or soft and voices can sound too muddy. If you cannot separate voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.