Children's ENT

Conductive Hearing Loss in Children: Common Causes & Treatments

February 2, 2023
Conductive Hearing Loss in Children Common Causes and Treatm

Hearing impairment in children is a condition where they are not able to clearly detect and respond to auditory stimuli. It can affect children as young as newborns and may result in delays in their normal development stages.

There are two main types of hearing loss. Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when the inner ear or hearing nerve is damaged. It develops over time and generally happens when the hair cells within the cochlea are damaged.

The other type of hearing loss is known as Conductive Hearing Loss and is the more common affliction affecting young children. Find out more about Conductive Hearing Loss as we do a deep dive into the common causes and treatments.

Causes Of Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss happens when there is a blockage that is preventing sound waves from being transmitted to the inner ear. This blockage can be caused by a number of different factors.

Causes Of Conductive Hearing Loss-ENT Specialist in Singapore

Impacted Earwax

Earwax is an important substance that protects and cleans the ear canal. However, excessive earwax can get impacted and cause Conductive Hearing Loss by forming a barrier that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear.

Fortunately, treatment is rather simple and involves the removal of the earwax by an ENT Specialist in Singapore. Do not use q-tips or cotton buds, especially inside young children’s ears. You might end up making the impaction worse or damage the eardrums or canal walls.

Middle Ear Infection

The middle portion of the ear canal is usually an air pocket. But if it gets infected and inflamed, it can become filled with fluid and cause Conductive Hearing Loss. Middle ear infections can cause severe ear pain and fever. 

Many cases of middle ear infections will clear up on their own and may not need specific treatment except painkillers or antipyretics. However if your child has chronic or severe infections, then antibiotics may be prescribed.

Learn More: 5 Ways to Help You Prevent Middle Ear Infections in Children

Fluid In Middle Ear

If your child has a cold or allergies, this may sometimes lead to a buildup of fluid in the middle ear. This occurs when the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of your throat, becomes blocked. The eustachian tube is responsible for draining the middle ear and a blockage can lead to a fluid blockage and Conductive Hearing Loss.

To help drain excess fluid in the middle ear, sometimes an ENT Specialist may insert a grommet tube into the eardrum. A grommet is a plastic or metal tube about 2 millimetres wide which allows air to enter the middle ear and fluid to drain out. Grommet tubes are indicated if there is significant hearing loss resulting in learning difficulties, there is severe infection that is not responding to antibiotics, or if the fluid in the middle ear persists for more than 3 months.

Foreign Object In Ear Canal

Sometimes a foreign object in the ear canal can also cause a blockage and lead to Conductive Hearing Loss. Children are curious and may push objects they find into their ears. Some examples include small toys, food, and insects.

To remove the blockage caused by a foreign object, a specialist at an ENT clinic in Singapore can use tiny forceps, suction, or water irrigation with minimal risk of complications.

Hardening Or Stiffening Of Hearing Bones

The middle ear contains 3 bones which play an important role in hearing. If these bones harden or stiffen abnormally, they can limit the ability of the bones to vibrate and conduct sound. This condition is known as Otosclerosis. The exact cause is unknown although there seems to be a genetic component involved.

Treatment for Otosclerosis is a surgery called Stapedectomy. During this procedure, the stapes bone in the ear is removed and replaced with a prosthesis which can replicate its function and restore hearing. A Stapedectomy can help children with Conductive Hearing Loss with a high chance of success.

Hardening Or Stiffening Of Hearing Bones-Conductive Hearing Loss-ENT Specialist in Singapore

While Conductive Hearing Loss is serious and can have long-lasting implications, many of the causes are treatable. If your child is exhibiting symptoms suggesting significant hearing loss, don’t hesitate to bring them for a checkup with an ENT specialist. The sooner the condition is fixed, the better the outcome will likely be.

Dr Gan is an experienced ENT specialist with a clinic in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. To make an appointment with us, reach out to us via our contact us page. Our clinic staff will respond and schedule a consultation time and date with you.

    When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

    • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
    • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

    Dr Gan Eng Cern

    Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


    • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
    • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
    • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
    • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
    • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
    • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
    • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


    • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
    • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
    • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

    Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern


    Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

    Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.


    Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

    Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.


    Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

    Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.


    Financial Options

    There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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