Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural loss—sometimes referred to as nerve deafness¬—occurs when sound does not reach the brain due to nerve damage in the inner ear’s hair cells. The vast majority of hearing loss falls under sensorineural-type of loss. In the United States it impacts one in eight people over age 12 in both ears, so if you know someone with hearing loss or you are having difficulties hearing, this is most likely this is culprit.

Why are you struggling to hear?

Sensorineural loss develops in two ways, acquired and congenital (stemming from pregnancy or birth) hearing loss. Deficiencies can vary in degree from mild to profound and hearing tends to decline slowly, but can vary depending on the cause.
When considering treatment, it’s always important to know what triggered your nerve deafness. It may have multiple origins, but often includes:

  • Age-related hearing loss (a.k.a. presbycusis)
  • Exposure to harmful levels of noise
  • Genetics or family history
  • Infections (otitis media and/or external otitis)
  • Illnesses, heart conditions or stroke
  • Head trauma and/or injuries
  • Medicines that harm the auditory system (“ototoxic”)
  • Burst eardrum (“Tympanic perforations”)
  • Earwax
  • Allergies
  • Fluid in the ear
  • Ménière's disease
  • Tumors
  • Nerve disorders
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction

Unless caused by ototoxic medicine, sensorineural hearing loss is almost always permanent and tends to worsen over time.

No longer the life of the party? Signs of sensorineural hearing loss

Are you considering getting your hearing tested because you have issues with communication? Think about your experiences. Have you (or your loved ones) noticed that:

  • You have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people?
  • Speech sounds muffled or others are mumbling more?
  • It is hard to hear in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls or in meetings?
  • Your TV or radio is turned up to a high volume or you rely on closed captions to follow a program?
  • You respond inappropriately in conversations?
  • There is ringing in your ears?
  • You watch people’s faces when they speak for context?
  • You require frequent repetition, or ask people to write what they want?

Don’t let sensorineural hearing loss define you!

The only way to confirm your suspicions is with a thorough hearing assessment. The team at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology) is happy to discuss your concerns and give you a professional opinion. Contact us today to get started. You won’t believe how much richer life can be with clear sound.


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