As the most common type of hearing loss, sensorineural relates to two different issues. The first of these is a problem in the inner ear, where the small hair-like cells that are positioned in the inner ear get damaged. The other aspect is in relation to the auditory nerve itself is damaged. However, for the majority of cases of sensorineural hearing loss, the problem comes from the inner ear. Although there are no quick “cures” for this type of hearing loss, one of the most common treatment options that can be effective (depending on the severity of your issue) is the use of a hearing aid.
Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss can either come about as a result of a genetic syndrome or it can be acquired over the course of your life. Being present at birth, congenital hearing loss can be inherited or caused by an abnormal development as the baby is growing in the womb. Maternal rubella (commonly known as German measles) was once a typical cause of this form of hearing loss before a vaccine was developed.
The more common cause of sensorineural hearing loss results from the natural effects of aging and being exposed to high volumes of noise. Working near loud machinery or firearms can lead to damage to the inner ear, triggering this type of hearing loss. In rare cases, the development of a tumor on the auditory nerve can create a rarer form of neural hearing loss.
Some of these symptoms may vary depending on if you have hearing loss in one or both of your ears. Typically, as the hearing loss progresses you’ll start to have trouble understanding those speaking around you. If it’s just in one ear, you might start to nice that you’re struggling to locate specific sounds or can’t distinguish sounds in environments where there is a lot of background noise present.
You may also have difficulty in hearing higher-pitched noises, such as children’s or women’s voices. Certain sounds may also become harder to hear during a conversation, such as a “th” type of sound. In certain cases, you may also experience a consistent buzzing sound in your ears, which is also known as tinnitus.
Can Hearing Aids Help Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Again, depending on the severity of the hearing loss and whether you may be experiencing it in just one ear or both, there are a number of treatment options available. However, the most common and effective option that can be beneficial as a sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus treatment option is the use of a hearing aid.
Hearing aids amplify sounds around you, making them louder for people who are struggling with mild to moderate hearing loss in both of their ears. If the issue is just in one ear, hearing aids are typically the best treatment option for those looking to boost their quality of life.
Unfortunately, if your inner ear has received significant damage, even the highest quality hearing aids may not give you the results that you are looking for. In this case, the use of cochlear implants may be suitable, as this can help to stimulate the hearing nerve and bypass the damaged inner ear.
It’s important that you see a qualified audiologist, as they can help determine the severity of your hearing loss and can provide a suitable treatment option for you.