Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, resulting from damage to the inner ear. The inner ear receives information from the outer and middle ear, and is responsible for conveying that information to the brain. The inner ear contains over 30,000 sensory cells. They maintain and process important information regarding the timing of a sound and the pitch. Sensory cells work differently when sound is quiet compared to when it is loud. Modern hearing aids were designed to work in a similar manner. They amplify quiet sounds more than loud sounds, so loud sounds are not uncomfortable.
Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are exposure to loud noise, certain medications, hereditary factors, aging and other events that can damage these sensory cells. The human body cannot regenerate sensory cells. Hearing aids are the most effective treatment for over 90% of hearing losses.
Hearing loss often develops gradually, such as difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments. Family and friends might notice you are asking them to repeat things that they say. No matter how much hearing loss you have, it is a filter for speech, meaning you are not able to understand speech as well as you could before, and it can create challenges in almost any situation. Even a so-called “mild” loss is not a mild problem when the speaker is at a distance or other noises are present.
Early sensorineural hearing loss treatment is very beneficial. Untreated hearing loss can lead to social withdrawal when you no longer enjoy getting together with others due to the inability to hear and take part in conversations. By contrast, people who treat their hearing loss report significant improvements in their relationships, safety, and quality of life.
The first step is to get a hearing test. If a hearing loss is present, there are now high-tech, custom-programmed hearing aids that are affordable. To learn more about options for getting a hearing test, and information on affordable solutions for hearing loss, call toll-free at 855-523-9355.