According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, sensorineural hearing loss (also known as nerve deafness) is the third most common disorder in people over age 65. Among males in that demographic, it is actually the most common. Even though it is most prevalent in seniors, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) studies have shown that sensorineural hearing loss affects one in eight people over the age of 12 in the United States.
This disorder that occurs when inner ear nerve damage prevents sound information from reaching the brain is a leading cause of having difficulty hearing.
Individuals develop sensorineural loss either from an “acquired” loss or a “congenital” hearing loss. Acquired losses develop after birth; congenital (sometimes called inherited) hearing loss happens in the womb or during birth. Sensorineural deficiencies can vary in degree from mild to profound, and tend to worsen slowly over time, depending on the cause.
Sensorineural symptoms can include:
As with many other conditions, understanding what causes it helps in choosing the right treatment option for you. Sensorineural loss may have a single or multiple contributing factors, including, but not limited to:
Unless caused by ototoxins (drugs or other substances toxic to the ear), sensorineural hearing loss tends to be permanent and symptoms usually worsen over time. Patients may also have mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Have you or someone else noticed these signs recently:
The team at Mass Audiology is happy to discuss your concerns and give you a professional opinion.