What is sensorineural hearing loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss that occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. The inner ear is responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. The auditory nerve then carries these signals to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Noise exposure
- Certain medications
- Head injuries
Sensorineural hearing loss is not typically reversible, but there are treatments that can help people with SNHL to hear better.
What are the 4 types of sensorineural hearing loss?
There are four main types of sensorineural hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear. The outer ear collects sound waves and the middle ear amplifies them. If there is a problem with either of these parts of the ear, it can cause conductive hearing loss.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This is the most common type of hearing loss.
- Mixed hearing loss: This type of hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
- Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD): This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to the auditory nerve. ANSD is a rare type of hearing loss.
What is the main treatment for sensorineural hearing loss?
The main treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sound waves, which can help people with SNHL to hear better. In some cases, cochlear implants may be an option. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that are surgically implanted in the inner ear. They can help people with severe to profound hearing loss to hear.
Are you deaf with sensorineural hearing loss?
The answer to this question depends on the severity of the hearing loss. People with mild sensorineural hearing loss may not be considered deaf, but people with severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss may be considered deaf.
If you think you may have sensorineural hearing loss, it is important to see an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist can diagnose your hearing loss and recommend the best treatment option for you.