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

If you can hear voices and make out some words but not others, or you can’t distinguish between somebody’s voice and surrounding noise, your hearing problem could be in your ear’s ability to conduct sound or in your brain’s capability of processing signals, or both.

Your ability to process sound is influenced by a number of variables such as general health, age, brain function, and genetics. You may be dealing with one of the following kinds of hearing loss if you have the frustrating experience of hearing people speak but not being able to comprehend what they are saying.

Conductive Hearing Loss

You could be suffering from conductive hearing loss if you have to repeatedly swallow and tug on your ears while saying with increasing irritation “There’s something in my ear”. 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 fluid buildup. You may still be able to hear some people with louder voices while only partially hearing people with lower voices depending on the severity of your hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

In contrast to conductive hearing loss, which impacts the middle and outer ear, Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the inner ear. Sounds to the brain can be stopped 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. You’re experiencing high frequency hearing loss, if you have difficulty hearing women and children’s voices or cannot differentiate voices from the background noise.