What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Our ears have three portions namely outer, middle, and inner ear. When the inner ear is damaged, sensorineural hearing loss occurs. It is referred to as sensorineural because the inner ear and hearing nerve need to work together for proper hearing.
What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
There are many different conditions which can damage the inner ear, but they are broadly grouped into two types,
It is a type of hearing loss seen at birth. Reasons include:
- Maternal infections such as rubella and German measles during pregnancy.
Acquired hearing loss
It is developed at a later stage in life, unlike the congenital type. Reasons include:
- Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss).
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise.
- Viral infections such as measles, meningitis, and mumps.
- Acoustic trauma due to exposure to loud sounds such as firearms or explosions.
- Ototoxic drugs such as certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.
- Ear tumors and growths may also affect the hearing health.
What are the symptoms of Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
- Those with bilateral sensorineural hearing noise can hear muffled sounds but not understand the context of what is being spoken and this leads to gradual isolation.
- There is reduced sensitivity to soft sounds. This causes problems with communication, interpersonal skills. It also affects learning and school performance in young children.
- Perception of loud sounds is altered causing social withdrawal and loneliness.
How is Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treated?
A thorough evaluation of the extent of the hearing loss is necessary to be conducted by a hearing health professional who would diagnose the actual type of hearing loss and suggest appropriate treatment.
In case of bilateral hearing loss, which is mild to moderate, hearing aids may help. But, in case of severe hearing loss, even using hearing aids will not help as it would just amplify the distorted sounds and in the presence of background noise, it would lead to more confusion and frustration.
In that case, cochlear implants may be the solution. A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is placed in the ear surgically and stimulates the hearing nerve by converting sound waves directly to electrical impulses.
Hi doctor,Five days back, my son put a plastic stick into his ears and the membrane got damaged and blood came out. We went to the doctor immediately. He gave us Azithromycin to give the child and told us to keep his ear safe from air, water and, all other materials. He also told us to watch out for...
Dr. Fazil Shajahan
Welcome to icliniq.com.Since there was damage to the membrane you need to be careful. It can cause a decrease in the hearing if the damage does not heal properly or get infected. If pus is coming from the ear, kindly consult a nearby ENT doctor and take treatment for the infection.
It can tak...
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