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Have you ever found yourself asking someone to repeat themselves frequently? Or turning up the volume on the TV so high that others complain? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be experiencing sensorineural hearing loss. In this blog post, we will explore what sensorineural hearing loss is, what causes it, how to diagnose and treat it, and how to live with it.
What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the nerves that transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain. It is the most common type of permanent hearing loss and affects people of all ages.
The inner ear contains tiny hair cells that convert sound waves into electrical signals that the brain can interpret as sound. If these hair cells are damaged, they cannot function properly, leading to hearing loss. The same can happen if the nerves that carry these electrical signals are damaged.
Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
There are many causes of sensorineural hearing loss, including genetics, aging, noise exposure, medications, and illnesses. In some cases, the cause is unknown.
Genetics can play a role in hearing loss, and some people are born with sensorineural hearing loss. As we age, our hair cells can become damaged, leading to gradual hearing loss. Exposure to loud noise, such as working in a noisy environment or attending loud concerts, can cause permanent hearing loss. Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, can also cause hearing loss. Finally, illnesses like Meniere’s disease, which affects the inner ear, can lead to sensorineural hearing loss.
Symptoms of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss can vary from person to person, but typically include difficulty hearing soft sounds, trouble understanding speech, and ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus). People with sensorineural hearing loss may also have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. These symptoms can affect a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to communicate with others, enjoy music, or watch TV.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
If you suspect you have sensorineural hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. We are trained to diagnose and treat hearing loss and will perform a hearing test to determine the type and severity of your hearing loss.
If you have sensorineural hearing loss, there are several treatment options available. The most common is the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids are small electronic devices that amplify sound and help people hear better. They come in many different styles, from behind-the-ear to completely-in-the-canal. In some cases, a cochlear implant may be recommended. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that bypasses the damaged hair cells in the inner ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve.
If you suspect you have sensorineural hearing loss, don’t wait to seek treatment. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to treat your hearing loss. With the right treatment, you can improve your quality of life and stay connected with the people and activities you love.
At our hearing practice, we specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing loss. We offer a wide range of hearing aids and other hearing solutions to help you hear your best. Our team of audiologists will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your unique needs.
If you have any questions about sensorineural hearing loss or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. Our team is dedicated to helping you hear your best and improving your quality of life.
Remember, hearing loss is a common condition that affects many people, but it doesn’t have to impact your life. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can enjoy the sounds of life once again. Don’t wait – take the first step towards better hearing today.