You may have been diagnosed with Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), and you aren’t sure what it is. Don’t worry, because you are not alone, as this type of hearing loss makes up about 90% of all types of hearing loss.
SNHL is a type of hearing loss that occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. SNHL can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to loud noise, certain medications, and head trauma.
What Are the Symptoms of SNHL?
The most common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss is difficulty hearing soft sounds. People with this type of hearing loss may also have trouble understanding speech, especially in noisy environments. Other symptoms may include a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus) and dizziness.
What Are the Types of SNHL?
There are two main types of sensorineural hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves are unable to reach the inner ear, while sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged.
What Are the Causes of SNHL?
There are many different causes of sensorineural hearing loss, but the most common cause is damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and can be caused by a number of different things, including:
- Age-related hearing loss – as we get older, it’s natural for our hearing to decline. This is usually a slow process and is the most common type of hearing loss.
- Exposure to loud noise – whether it’s from work, leisure activities or exposure to loud music, exposure to loud noise is one of the most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss.
- Infections – certain infections, such as meningitis, can damage the hair cells in the inner ear and cause sensorineural hearing loss.
- Tumours – both benign and cancerous tumors can cause sensorineural hearing loss if they grow near the auditory nerve or the inner ear.
- Trauma – head injuries or trauma to the ear can damage the hair cells and cause sensorineural hearing loss.
- Genetics – in some cases, sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by genetic factors.
Can SNHL Be Treated?
The most common treatment for SNHL are hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sound so that it is easier for the brain to process. There are many different types of hearing aids available, and the type that is best for you will depend on the severity of your hearing loss and your lifestyle.
Another treatment option for SNHL is cochlear implants. Cochlear implants are devices that are surgically implanted into the cochlea, and they provide direct electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve. This can help some people with severe hearing loss to hear sounds and even to understand speech.
There are also a number of assistive listening devices available that can help make communication easier for people with hearing loss. These devices can amplify sound, provide visual cues, or even transmit sound directly to the brain.
If you have SNHL, it is important to see an audiologist for a comprehensive evaluation. They will be able to determine the cause of your hearing loss and recommend the best treatment options for you.
Get a free hearing test in Lexington with Hear More Associates. Take care of your hearing before it’s too late. Get checked with us at Hear More Associates.