Hearing loss is a common and frustrating problem that can happen at any stage of life. Fortunately, there are effective ways to address hearing loss, and the sooner you seek treatment, the better they work. It starts with determining what’s causing your hearing to decline and how substantial your hearing loss is. There are three basic types of hearing loss: conductive, mixed, and sensorineural. The sensorineural type comprises 90% of all cases of hearing loss. Let’s take a look at what it is, how it happens, and what you can do to treat it.

What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

Conductive and mixed hearing loss involves the outer and middle ear. But sensorineural hearing loss begins in the inner ear. When sound waves enter your ear and travel to the eardrum, they cause vibration in the middle ear. Minuscule hair cells in the inner ear turn those vibrations into signals that the auditory nerve collects and transmits to your brain. But when those hair cells are damaged, the auditory nerve can’t detect the signal, which means you won’t hear certain sounds as clearly, or maybe, at all. Less commonly, auditory nerve damage causes a similar effect.

What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

There are multiple causes of sensorineural hearing loss. Some are acquired after you’re born, and others are congenital, meaning you are born with hearing loss.

  • Aging- Hearing can decline with age. Roughly a quarter of people over age 65 have this acquired form of hearing loss.
  • Noise Damage- The second most common, this occurs at all ages from loud, sudden noises or steady, moderate noise.
  • Medications- Some medications cause hearing loss, including certain painkillers, antibiotics, diuretics, and cancer medicines.
  • Illness or Injury- Meniere’s Disease, autoimmune diseases, and head trauma can affect hearing rapidly, so talk to your doctor.
  • Congenital- Genetics, premature birth, maternal diabetes, maternal infectious diseases, and oxygen deprivation during childbirth can cause hearing loss.

How is Sensorineural Hearing Loss Detected?

To understand the cause and severity of your hearing loss, a hearing assessment is necessary. My team and I at Clarity Hearing conduct exams that are simple, comfortable, and conclusive in 4 convenient locations. We eliminate external sounds to see how you detect the controlled sounds we produce at different volumes. We determine if your loss is moderate, severe, or profound, which helps identify the root cause. We provide comprehensive feedback on the level of hearing loss, the causes and treatments, and ways to prevent further damage.

How is Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treated?

While there is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, we can dramatically improve your hearing and preserve remaining abilities. Today’s hearing aids are powerful and innovative in their ability to reverse the effects of hearing loss. They are so tiny and effective; you will barely notice them in your ear. They have rechargeable batteries, smartphone compatibility, and are super easy to use.

Don’t miss out on the vital ability to hear the world with clarity. We provide custom solutions to reverse the frustration of sensorineural hearing loss. You are not alone- your friends at Clarity Hearing can help. And the sooner we start, the more hearing ability we can preserve. Contact us today!

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Dr. Scott Marquardt - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Clarity Hearing

Dr. Scott Marquardt - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Clarity Hearing

Scott Marquardt is the owner of Clarity Hearing and a highly skilled audiologist who has been in practice for over 20 years. Dr. Marquardt earned a master’s degree in audiology from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a doctorate from A.T. Still University. He is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. He and the team offer comprehensive hearing healthcare services and specialize in the care of tinnitus, imbalance, and auditory processing disorders.