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Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Presented by:
ACC ~ The Audiology Awareness Campaign

Sensorineural hearing losses occur when the "inner" ear or the actual hearing nerve itself becomes damaged. About 90% of all people with hearing impairment are in this category, making it the most common type of hearing impairment.

Sensorineural hearing loss is often referred to as "nerve deafness." Nerve deafness is not really an accurate description because the damage most frequently occurs within the inner ear rather than the hearing nerve. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are aging and exposure to loud noises, but there are many other causes (viral infections, disrupted blood supply to the ear, metabolic disturbances, accident/injury, genetic predisposition, medications that are toxic to the ear, etc). Thus, "sensorineural" indicates the part of the ear that is malfunctioning and encompasses many different causes for the malfunction. This type of hearing loss is frequently not medically or surgically treatable. It is typically permanent and irreversible. However, most people with sensorineural loss find wearing hearing aids to be of significant benefit and some people with severe loss can benefit from a cochlear implant.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Audiogram

This audiogram shows a sensorineural hearing loss in the left ear. The white area represents the sounds that the person would not hear (softer then their thresholds) and the tan area indicates all of the sounds that the person would be able to hear (louder then their thresholds).

This article was submitted by: Glen R. Meier, M.S., CCC-A, FAAA

Audiograms created by: Chris Norman



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