Are you trying to know more about hearing losses? Are you trying to help yourself or someone you know who may have hearing loss? In this post, you will one of the three main types of hearing loss – sensorineural hearing loss. It is useful to note that the other two hearing losses are mixed hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.
Studies conducted by the World Health Organization discovered that more than 300 million people around the world are affected by some type of hearing loss. Also known as SNHL, sensorineural hearing loss is extremely common. This form of hearing loss occurs in the inner ear, and unfortunately, it is a permanent condition. That is why this hearing loss can affect an individual negatively in an array of ways, including his or her lifestyle, work, and relationships. Next, the level of SNHL can vary from being very soft hearing, e.g. difficulty hearing normal conversations, to complete deafness. The latter is dangerous because the individual may not even hear a car sounding its horn at them.
The quality of incoming sounds may be fuzzy, unclear, muffled, or quieter. Individuals with SNHL may not even notice the sounds of leaves rustling or another person whispering. You should keep in mind that SNHL can mess with some or all frequencies of sound. Next, this form of hearing loss tends to develop slowly over time. Hence, it may be almost impossible for the individual to notice any change in his or her hearing. There are patients who suffer from SNHL that developed in a short period of time, and others who experience deafness overnight.
You might still be confused with what sensorineural means. There are tens of thousands of microscopic hair cells located inside the cochlea. Note: They are very important. These hair cells take on the role of producing electrical nerve signals that allow your brain to interpret sound. If an individual is diagnosed with SNHL, it means that some of those tiny hairs have been damaged or are missing. When that happens, certain sounds do not get through to your brain. You can say that the extent of one’s hearing loss depend on how many of these damaged hair cells exist.
A wide variety of causes contribute to SNHL. Some of them include:
The individual may find it extremely tedious to understand conversations in noisy environments, e.g. a crowded restaurant. Alternatively, the individual may not hear high-pitched sounds, e.g. the voice of a woman or child. Some individuals who have SNHL may suffer from chronic dizziness, vertigo, or tinnitus. No matter how severe the symptoms may be, you should always get your hearing checked by a professional, even at the slightest inclination that there may be hearing loss. Consulting an audiologist is highly recommended.
The hair cells in your ears cannot be replaced. Hence, there is no actual cure for partial hearing loss or profound deafness. However, there are hearing devices and treatments that help the patient cope with his or her condition, improving their quality of life. For example, one of the solutions is to get a cochlear implant. This device makes up for the damaged hair cells that could not pick up sounds. The implant helps to improve the quality and volume of incoming sounds.