An ENT Doctor Explains Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Updated on February 3, 2021

There are three kinds of hearing loss: Conductive, Sensorineural, and mixed. The most common type among them is Sensorineural hearing loss. It refers to the damage of tiny hair cells in the middle ear or your nerve responsible for transmitting sounds to your brain or brain itself. Usually, extended exposure to loud noises or natural aging can cause this hearing loss. You may consult an ENT doctor in your area if you observe an appreciable hearing loss.

More About Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Your middle ear has tiny hair receptors that can detect sound. Its hearing nerves transmit signals to your brain. Any damage to those hair cells due to age, loud sounds, or infection can lead to sensorineural hearing loss. You can experience hearing loss in both ears or any one of them.

Some people may have sensorineural hearing loss by birth, but you usually get it with time. Presbycusis refers to an age-dependent hearing loss and is amongst the most common reasons for sensorineural hearing loss. Depending upon the causes of your hearing loss, it can range from severe to mild hearing loss, sometimes profound. It tends to degrade gradually over time.

Symptoms of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The loss of hearing is a gradual process over time. Hence, it is crucial to understand the symptoms to learn how it might feel to experience Sensorineural hearing loss.

But it may be almost impossible to distinguish symptoms specific to sensorineural hearing loss alone. Still, if you observe any of the following signs, you may have a hearing loss, mostly sensorineural hearing loss.

Are you familiar with any of these?

1.  Do you find it difficult to follow the conversation of three or more persons or cross talks with background noise?

2.  Do you find it troublesome to understand public conversations on the loudspeaker or at a restaurant, store, or office?

3.  Do you face difficulty in following phone conversations?

4.  Do sounds seem unclear to you, or find people’s sounds appear as mumbles?

5.  Do you find it challenging to hear high-pitch sounds?

6.  Do you hear ringing or buzzing in your ears (Tinnitus)? It is common in this type of loss.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, then you might suffer from hearing loss. You may even be having more than one of these symptoms, which is quite normal.

Treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

You can usually correct sensorineural hearing loss by using hearing aids. Remember that doctors cannot treat it with medication or surgery.

You can assess your hearing levels by booking a slot at a professional ENT clinic. You will get to know more about your hearing status and get some treatment options, including hearing aids.

We suggest that you should take care of your hearing loss as soon as possible. If untreated, it can lead to undesirable side effects, including isolation and lower quality of life.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

It happens primarily due to damage to your nerves or tiny hair receptors in the middle ear. There are several factors responsible for such damage:

1.  Age linked hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, most common type of sensorineural hearing loss

2.  Loud sounds like an explosion or extended exposure to loud sounds

3.  Any trauma to your head, e.g., blow to your head

4.  Side effects of medicines or drugs

5.  Hereditary or complications during birth or pregnancy

Prevention of Sensorineural Hearing Loss Before It Affects You Or Your Loved Ones

You can prevent hearing loss if you presently have normal hearing. Whenever you get exposed to loud sounds, you should use hearing protection like molds, earplugs, earmuffs to prevent hearing loss. Loud sounds include garden tools (lawnmowers, leaf blowers), wood-working machines, noisy appliances, factories’ noise, construction sites, schools, loud music or snow-bikes, etc.


1.  You can wear earplugs to protect your ears and prevent any chances of damage to hearing capabilities. Loud sounds in everyday life, both at home and work, are risky to your hearing.

2.  Hence, it is a good idea to invest in hearing protection devices. If you avoid loud sounds or reduce the exposure time to everyday loud sounds, it can be quite helpful.

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