The many miniature nerve endings in your inner ear are central to your ability to hear. Unfortunately, these nerve endings can be damaged, as can other components in your inner ear, resulting in a condition known as sensorineural hearing loss.
A person who is suffering from sensorineural deafness is not necessarily completely deaf. The hearing loss is frequently limited to certain frequencies and sounds. You might notice that some sorts of sounds are much less distinctive, while others are too loud for comfort. Noisy environments may make it tough for you to pick out speech patterns. The individual may have trouble when trying to follow a conversation with more than one person speaking and may find that women’s voices are more difficult to follow than men’s. Troubles in hearing aren’t the only manifestation of sensorineural deafness: tinnitus and dizziness can also arise.
There is no single cause of sensorineural deafness that applies to all individuals. Sometimes this form of hearing loss is present since birth. Genetic issues can cause many forms of congenital sensorineural deafness, while in other cases infections passed from mother to infant are the root cause.
As a person matures, sensorineural deafness can be the result of a number of different issues. Contact with an extremely loud noise – also called acoustic trauma – is one possible reason. Steady exposure to lower level noise, such as listening to loud music or working with noisy equipment, can also lead to inner ear damage.
Viral infections can cause sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Viruses such as mumps, measles and meningitis can all lead to this issue. Equally problematic is Meniere’s Disease, which can lead to fluctuating hearing loss as well as tinnitus and vertigo. Corticosteroids may prove helpful in these two cases.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by tumors, as well as head trauma and abrupt changes in air pressure. A hereditary disorder known as otosclerosis can cause a bony growth to form around an important bone in the middle ear, leading to this type of hearing loss.
There is no denying that sensorineural hearing loss can drastically decrease your quality of life, but there are ways to address it.