Sensorineural Hearing Loss Explained

Hearing loss affects many people of all ages, and sensorineural hearing loss is one of the most common types, accounting for more than 90% of all hearing loss. We work with all types of hearing loss, and it may be reassuring to know that sensorineural hearing loss can usually be effectively treated with hearing aids.

Sensorineural hearing loss refers to hearing loss that is the result of damage to the cochlea, or the inner ear, or damage to the nerve pathway that connects the inner ear to the brain. Untreated hearing loss can cause many problems, including further deterioration of the hearing organs and conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which are much more likely to develop in individuals with hearing loss.

What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss may be caused by many different factors, or by a combination of several. The following are all common reasons for sensorineural hearing loss to develop:

1. The aging process. Hearing loss defined as ‘age-related’ is the most common type of sensorineural hearing loss, and this simply means that the hearing organs have deteriorated with age. There are many general health tips that can help to prevent hearing loss, such as eating a balanced diet and ensuring that you stay fit and healthy as you age.

2. Loud environments. Exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss at any stage, and even a single exposure to a very loud environment can cause permanent hearing damage. High-risk environments include music venues and building sites, and you should always protect your ears if you work at or visit these.

3. Illnesses, especially fevers. Some illnesses can cause sensorineural hearing loss, especially if high fevers are experienced, in illnesses such as meningitis.

4. Head injuries. Traumatic injuries to the head can cause hearing loss, and you should always protect your head if you are taking part in activities where this is a risk. Sports such as hockey, rugby, skiing and horse riding carry high risks of head injury, so be aware that you should take extra care to protect your head and ears during these. Hidden Hearing recommends that you have an annual baseline hearing test. Accidents happen and it is always better to have a reading of what it was so you can definitely say what caused your hearing loss.

5. Some medications. Some prescription medicines are known to cause complications within the ears, leading to sensorineural hearing loss. These medications are referred to as ototoxic, and it is more likely that you will experience problems associated with these if there is a history of hearing loss in your family. You should be aware that your doctor may prescribe medicines that are ototoxic, and be prepared to discuss this and ask for an alternative.

How Is Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treated?

If you think that you may have sensorineural hearing loss, you should consult an audiologist as soon as possible. Hearing aids can usually offer an excellent solution to this condition, and many are tiny and highly sensitive, offering you an excellent and discreet hearing solution.

To book your free hearing test call 1800 882 884 or click here to find your local clinic.

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