Sensorineural Hearing Loss
What is it and why does it matter?
Sensorineural hearing loss refers to any reduction in hearing sensitivity or sound clarity that is caused by damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear or the nerve pathways that carry the sound signal from the inner ear to the auditory processing area of the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and affects 28 million Americans.
Sensorineural hearing loss is usually cumulative and occurs slowly. Exposure to very loud noise is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss followed by aging (presbycusis). Certain medications and related health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are also known causes of sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing instruments are the primary treatment for sensorineural hearing loss as medical or surgical intervention is rarely possible. Correctly fitted hearing instruments stimulate the affected nerves in the inner ear and fill in the Sound Voids that most sufferers experience. Today’s hearing instrument technology can even address ‘high-frequency’ sensorineural hearing losses that were once thought to be un-treatable. If hearing loss is severe, a cochlear implant may be recommended.
The first step to a getting a treatment plan is to reach out to our practice so we can schedule a consultation, where we’ll evaluate your hearing. Your hearing evaluation will include an interview, examination, various hearing tests, and treatment options to help you hear your best.
Since sensorineural hearing loss is often caused by exposure to loud noises, we highly recommend the use of hearing protection if you find yourself around loud noises frequently. If you are diabetic, keep your blood glucose levels well controlled. A healthy diet and regular exercise are a must, in order to prevent the onset of heart disease and other medical problems that are also identified with hearing loss. A healthy lifestyle, excellent nutrition, and the use of custom fitted hearing protection will help you hear for life.