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10.6.8 Conductive Deafness


Damage to the external ear canal and middle ear may result in the impediment of transmission of sound waves. This is known as conductive deafness.

In most cases, this condition can be treated and, as the inner ear remains undamaged, sound is still able to be transmitted through the bone and be heard.

People with conductive deafness may hear better in noisy situations (known as 'paracusis') as voices are usually automatically raised.

Conductive deafness may be caused by:

  • wax or a foreign body in the external meatus
  • damage to the tympanic membrane by injury or inflammation
  • middle ear diseases such as otitis media and otosclerosis (rarely compensable), and
  • Paget's disease.