Conductive hearing loss

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 13 Feb 2021

Conductive hearing loss is a hearing loss where the ears' ability to conduct sound into the inner ear is blocked or reduced. It can be caused by a range of developmental, congenital or acquired pathology to the external, middle or inner ear.


Essentially any process that obstructs or disrupts the passage of sound waves through the outer or middle ear can cause conductive hearing loss and the list of causes is very long. The most common are included below. 

External ear
Middle ear
Inner ear

Treatment and prognosis

A stapes prosthesis may help improve conductive hearing loss. 

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: ossicular chain disruption
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  • Case 2: fenestral otosclerosis
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  • Case 3: left EAC atresia
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  • Case 4 : Oval window atresia and aberrant facial nerve canal
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