Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the cochlea (inner ear) and its delicate sensory cells or nerve fibres become worn-out or damaged. When the cochlea is unable to properly transmit sound to the brain, speech and sound in general can seem jumbled, distorted and lacking in clarity. In most cases sensorineural hearing loss is permanent.
Symptoms of Sensorinerual Hearing Loss
People with sensorineural hearing loss, often report that people mumble or that they can hear speech but it lacks clarity. People with sensorineural hearing loss in both ears can have difficulty understanding speech in various situations, especially in background noise. For people with sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, locating sounds and hearing well in background noise can be very difficult.
Sensorineural hearing loss can present through a number of different symptoms.
Causes of Sensorinerual Hearing Loss
The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss is the natural process of ageing and / or prolonged exposure to excessive noise (employment or recreational) without hearing protection. Other causes may include:
- trauma – physical injury or acoustic trauma
- viral infections such as measles or mumps, high fever
- ototoxic medications
- stroke, diabetes
- Meniere’s disease
- acoustic neuroma – tumour on the auditory nerve
Treatment of Sensorinerual Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is generally permanent, however in many cases the condition can be effectively managed with hearing aids and other rehabilitation devices / strategies.
If you suspect a hearing loss for yourself or a loved one, please contact Mackay Hearing to book a comprehensive diagnostic hearing assessment. A hearing assessment will determine if you have hearing loss, the extent and type of hearing loss (sensorineural, conductive or mixed) and treatment options.