My years of practice in the audiology field have taught me that hearing loss affects not only you but everyone in your lives too. Misunderstandings and inconveniences become common, and it can be frustrating. Hearing loss isn’t uncommon. 48 million Americans suffer from it, so you are not alone. Understanding your hearing loss can help you adjust and fight off its effects. There are a few types of hearing loss. We will, however, only be focusing on sensorineural hearing loss in this article.
What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
The ear is made of three parts: the outer, middle, and inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss(SNHL) affects the inner ear. It can also affect the nerves that transmit sounds from your ear to your brain. This results in increased difficulty in hearing soft sounds and loud sounds may be muffled and unclear.
Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
One major cause of SNHL is aging. Many of the body’s functions begin to decline and decrease in performance as we age, and hearing is no exception. Another factor that could cause SNHL is genetics. If its something that runs in the family, then it is more likely that you will experience it as well.
SNHL may also be caused by external factors such as a blow to the head. Listening to loud noises and explosions is another potential cause of SNHL. Illnesses and drugs that are toxic to hearing are also factors that can contribute to loss of hearing.
To understand the severity of your hearing loss, we would have to conduct a hearing assessment. These hearing exams are easy to do, safe, and comprehensive. In this assessment, all other noises will be canceled out, and you would be tasked with identifying sounds of different volumes. The degree of clarity and perception in your hearing will all be tested in this exam.
To give perspective; If you cannot hear soft sounds, then you would be classified as having moderate hearing loss. If you cannot hear the sounds of a baby crying, then it would be severe hearing loss. If you cannot hear the sounds of a rocket launching, then you have complete or profound hearing loss. The degree of hearing loss will enable us to analyze the possible causes.
What is the Treatment for Sensorineural Hearing Loss?
Sadly enough, unlike a cold or flu, there is no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss. However, devices such as hearing aids can help reverse the effects of sensorineural hearing loss and help you hear better and clearer.
We would love to help you understand your situation more clearly and find a treatment option for you. Please contact us or request a callback to see how we can help today. The earlier you meet with a specialist, the sooner the inconvenience and misunderstandings in life due to hearing loss will go away.
Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas’ most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.