How is Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treated?
When dealing with hearing loss, you can be afflicted with different types, like sensorineural or conductive, which may also have different causes. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most frequent cause of hearing problems. Nine out of 10 people who experience hearing difficulties have a form of sensorineural hearing loss. If you have received a recommendation for a hearing aid after taking a hearing test with a hearing instrument specialist (HIS), you might have seen it referred to as sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
What is SNHL? Typically, it is nerve deafness, which means that the nerves in your ear are not able to capture and transmit sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss also occurs when the tiny cochlear hair-cell are damaged. While SNHL is frequent in old age and affects almost a quarter of the population over 65, it isn’t only triggered by the aging process. As a result, identifying the cause of your hearing loss will help your HIS to find the best and most suitable treatment and solution for you.
What causes your sensorineural hearing loss?
Your sensorineural hearing loss could be the result of a variety of triggers which are either acquired or congenital. In other words, people with sensorineural hearing loss could have either developed it as a result of events that happened during their lives, or it could be present directly at birth.
In congenital hearing loss cases, children and babies are diagnosed early in life so that many can receive their hearing aids from a HIS at a young age.
When it comes to acquired hearing loss, there are some essential distinctions you need to make. Seniors are most commonly affected by sensorineural hearing loss as a result of the natural degradation of hearing abilities over time. Exposure to loud noises – either frequently as it could be the case for some professions or as a one-off for people who find themselves in the vicinity of an explosion, for instance – can dramatically affect your hearing health. Additionally, head injuries can also damage your inner ear in the same way extremely loud noise exposure would. Let’s also not forget that viral infections, such as meningitis, have been seen to cause sensorineural hearing loss for some patients. But sometimes your health prescriptions can lead to sensorineural hearing loss as there are more than 200 medications that have been linked to damage to your hearing health. Lastly, an abnormal growth in your middle ear, such as acoustic neuroma, can affect your hearing.
Understanding what triggers your hearing issue is detrimental to its treatment.
The first step is to have a hearing test
If you suspect you’re experiencing hearing loss, the first thing you’ll need to do is to take a hearing test. A specialist can help you to schedule your tests, as there are many different tests that measure otoacoustic emissions and brainstem auditory evoked responses. Both types will be necessary for a HIS to guide you to the next step.
At this stage, it is also crucial for you to understand that in most cases, the treatment for sensorineural hearing loss doesn’t provide 100% correction, nor does it fully repair your hearing health. However, you can find a solution that works for your lifestyle and needs and allows you to correct your hearing loss appropriately.
Hearing aids for hearing loss
Typically, for hearing loss caused by old age, congenital deafness, injuries, noise exposure and viral infections, your HIS can recommend hearing aids, which can be any of the following types: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) devices. Different hearing aids are best suited for varying levels of hearing loss, from mild to severe. You will need to schedule an appointment with your HIS to discuss fitting and, eventually, take mold impressions of your ears for custom hearing loss devices.
Are there other hearing loss treatments available?
While surgery can sometimes alleviate this condition, hearing aids are the most commonly recommend solution. You may also be able to make some lifestyle changes, such as a hearing loss triggered by medication, may be reversable if the issue is spotted before any lasting damage has appeared. More often than not, switching to medications that don’t damage your hearing health can allow your ears to heal and regain their hearing abilities to some extent.
In conclusion, there is more than one approach to treat sensorineural hearing loss. If you wish to learn more about how Integrity Hearing Solutions can help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of specialists in Mechanicsburg: 727-602-3899 and Carlisle: 717-245-2437.