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Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to delicate hair cells in the cochlea or the auditory nerve. In adults, this condition is most commonly caused by exposure to loud noises, aging, head trauma, or other conditions. In kids, the most common causes of SNHL include genetic variations, inner ear abnormalities, and viral infection transmitted by the mother during pregnancy.

SNHL can lead to difficulty hearing speech and other sounds, and possible ringing in the ears (tinnitus). It can also affect a person’s quality of life, making it challenging to communicate with others and participate in social activities.

It is important to seek treatment for sensorineural hearing loss as soon as possible to prevent further hearing loss and to enhance overall communication and quality of life.

Abilene Audiology Co., located in Abilene, TX, offers comprehensive and expert care for your hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Symptoms of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss may include the following:

  • Muffled hearing
  • Sudden or progressive loss of hearing
  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it would be best to consult with an audiologist to get your ears checked and treated.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the delicate hair cells in the cochlea or auditory nerve get damaged or broken.

To better understand SNHL, think of the hair cells in the ear as the transporter of sound energy from the ears to the brain. If you have damaged or broken hair cells, they will be unfit to convert the sound into the correct neural signals which result in hearing abnormalities.

Other causes for SNHL may include:

  • Aging: This happens gradually and in most cases, cannot be reversed. This is also the most common cause of SNHL.
  • Acoustic trauma: Exposure to loud noises can lead to acoustic trauma.
  • Abrupt changes in air pressure or head trauma: Sudden changes in the head space can disrupt the normal function of the inner ear, which could lead to rupture of the fluid inside.
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease: Individuals with autoimmune inner ear disease may experience progressive hearing loss in both ears.
  • Ménière’s disease: This condition is characterized by dizziness, fluctuating hearing loss, ear fullness, or tinnitus.
  • Benign tumor (vestibular schwannoma): A noncancerous tumor on the adjacent balance nerve that is responsible for compressing the hearing nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain could cause SNHL.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are experiencing hearing loss, you should see an audiologist to get an accurate diagnosis. Getting a correct diagnosis is essential because the treatment for hearing loss greatly depends on the cause.

Once a diagnosis is made, an audiologist will be able to discuss with you various treatment options specifically targeted for your unique hearing requirements. A hearing test (audiogram) is a critical part of the evaluation that determines the severity of your hearing loss, as well as whether it is sensorineural, conductive, or a combination of both.

Audiologists may recommend specific treatment options based on the results of your hearing test. If necessary, audiologists may recommend a referral to a physician for further tests such as a CT or MRI imaging scan.

SNHL treatment options can include:

Continuous monitoring with regular hearing tests

Evaluation and fitting of a hearing aid(s) or assistive listening devices
Surgery to implant a hearing device (cochlear implants or bone-anchored devices)

SNHL can be treated through the use of conventional hearing aids or implantable hearing devices. An audiologist is the best medical professional to help you decide which device would work best for you.

Can you fix sensorineural hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of permanent hearing loss. Medicine or surgery cannot fix SNHL and restore hearing back to normal. The most common intervention for SNHL is getting a hearing aid to help improve hearing.

For profound SNHL, cochlear implants or bone-anchored hearing aids may be considered. An audiologist can best help you in creating the most appropriate treatment plan to address sensorineural hearing loss.

How do you prevent further sensorineural hearing loss?

Once hearing loss is present, restoring your hearing back to normal is nearly impossible. However, continuous innovation in technology combined with intensive research and development have paved the way for improved hearing for individuals diagnosed with hearing loss.

Since sensorineural hearing loss is mainly attributed to aging and exposure to loud noises, you can take the following steps to protect yourself from further loss of hearing:

  • Avoid or limit exposure to dangerously loud sounds.
  • Turn down the volume when using headphones or earbuds. It’s safe to practice listening at a safe volume not exceeding 60%.
  • Use hearing protection devices as necessary.
  • Get regular hearing tests.

Abilene Audiology Co.: Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment

If you suspect potential hearing loss, seek a hearing evaluation from a licensed audiologist right away.

Abilene Audiology Co., located in Abilene, TX, offers comprehensive and expert care for your hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Our approach to caring for people with communication difficulties is centered on mutual respect for the individual and their specific needs.
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