S ensorineural Hearing Loss is permanent hearing loss which results from damage to the hair cells found in the inner ear. Although it's natural to damage and lose these small hair cells across the course of your life, sensorineural hearing loss is often accelerated by additional factors. Below we investigate some of these common factors, and their implications.
- Aging - As mentioned, Sensorinueral Hearing Loss is inevitably caused by the aging process.
- Head and Ear Injuries - Traumatic head and ear injuries are also known causes of hearing loss.
- Genetic conditions - Some of us are predisposed to suffer from accelerated sensorineural hearing loss. In some instances, the hearing loss does not present itself until later in life.
- Medication - Some medications are also known to have negative side-effects including loss of hearing. Similarly, some treatments such as Chemotherapy have been linked to causing hearing loss in patients.
- Illness, infection and health conditions - A number of illnesses can also accelerate sensorineural hearing loss. Meningitis, Multiple Sclerosis and Mumps are all known causes. Ear infections can also lead to worsened hearing abilities.
Sensorinerual hearing loss is both inevitable and irreversible. Although there is no known cure for this condition, we do have some methods of treatment which are useful in reducing its effects.
- Hearing Aids - The most common and easiest treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is to purchase hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sound to make up for the inability to hear. A common complaint of hearing aids is that they do not improve sound clarity, only the volume. This can lead to distortion of sound.
- Cochlear Implants - For those who experience significant hearing loss and have found hearing aids to be insufficient, cochlear implants are a viable option. Cochlear implants work to convert sound waves into electrical impulses which mimics the natural hearing process. Cochlear implants are a significant commitment and involve the surgical implantation of a device.
Preventing Sensorineural Hearing Loss
As mentioned above, hearing loss over the course of our lives is almost inevitable. However, can reduce the extent to which we experience hearing loss. Here are 6 Simple Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss.
- Limit exposure and take regular breaks
- Volume limits
- Keep a distance from the speakers
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- Regular check-ups
Full article on how to prevent hearing loss here!
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL)
Also known as sudden deafness, Sudden Sensorinerual Hearing Loss (SSHL) is when you suddenly lose your hearing. SSHL can happen instantly or at a rapid pace over a few days.Like SHL, SSHL is often caused by Head/Ear injuries and trauma, undetected virus, an autoimmune disease, or a neurological condition among others. However, it is only possible to find a definitive cause in just 10-15% of cases.
A common method to treat SSHL is steroids which can be administered via pill or injection directly into the ear.
There are several different symptoms to keep an eye out for. Should you experience any of these, it's best to seek medical attention.
- Tinnitus and other ongoing ringing or buzzing sounds
- Muffled or distorted sounds
- Worsened ability to hear high or low-pitched sounds
- Balance issues