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

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

Brain function, age, general health, and the genetic makeup of your ear all contribute to your ability to process sound. If you have the aggravating experience being able to hear a person’s voice but not processing or understanding what that person is saying you may be experiencing one or more of the following kinds of loss of hearing.

Conductive Hearing Loss

When we yank on our ears, continuously swallow, and say over and over to ourselves with growing aggravation, “something’s in my ear,” we might be experiencing conductive hearing loss. The ear’s ability to conduct sound to the brain is diminished by problems to the middle and outer ear including wax buildup, ear infections, eardrum damage, and fluid buildup. You may still be capable of hearing some people with louder voices while only partly hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Unlike conductive hearing loss, which affects the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts 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 come across too muddy. If you cannot distinguish voices from background noise or have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices particularly, then you might be suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.