Sensory hearing loss, information about it and how you can avoid this condition.
Most times, sensory hearing loss cannot be corrected medically or surgically but can be treated and helped with hearing aids.
Table of Content
How does sensory hearing loss happen?
Specifically, sensory hearing loss is mostly caused by damage to hair cells of the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve connecting the ear to the brain. People who suffer from a profound condition are deaf and can hear nothing.
Anybody who suffers from a mild condition has difficulty keeping up with everyday conversations. Hearing loss can affect learning and development in children, including speech and language.
Earwax that builds up in your ear can block your hearing like a plug.
In adults, this can significantly affect the overall quality of life, since it impacts social interaction and general well-being. It can cause many difficulties in various aspects of life.
The lowest sounds that most people can hear are 25-40 decibel. Hearing loss often occurs in different types and degrees of severity.
If you notice voices are sounding fuzzy and you can’t make out what people are saying, see your doctor for an audiology test, as for older people, WHO reports that a third of people over 65 years live with disabling hearing loss.
- Never accept that hearing loss is an inevitable part of growing older.
- The condition is rarely surgically or medically treatable.
- A hearing aid amplifies sounds to help you hear more clearly.
- Take care of your physical and mental health, and protect your ears.
Usually, sound vibrations pass from the outer ear through the middle ear to the inner ear. At the end of your inner ear, thousands of auditory nerve fibres pick-up the high and low sound frequencies and transmit action potentials to the brain, which interprets the signal as sound.
Hearing loss is on the increase with adolescents and young adults and is mostly associated with exposure to loud music. Luckily, by getting early diagnosis and intervention, the majority of cases are treatable.
Treatments focus on amplification of sound through devices, or via electrical stimulation of auditory neurons through cochlear implantation for severe to profound deafness. However, when medication or surgery does not work or is not an suitable treatment, then many people who have conductive hearing loss can be fit with hearing aids.
An audiogram should indicate which sounds are best heard.
The sensory component is often because of damage to the ear or to an inability of the tiny hair cells to stimulate the auditory nerve. The neural part refers to when an injury is proximal to the cochlea and auditory nerve; the term retro cochlear damage is also used.
With sensory hearing loss, there is a dysfunction in the inner ear. Noise-induced hearing loss is a type of sensory hearing loss.
Damage to the auditory nerve.
While sensory hearing loss usually involves damage to the tiny hair cells, it also can result from damage to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve comprises many nerve fibres that then carry signals to the brain interpreted as sound.
Most often, sensory hearing loss involves damage to the tiny hair cells that are activated with sound waves to vibrate and release messengers that stimulate the auditory nerve. The sound may reach the inner ear, but because of damage to the cochlea or auditory nerve, it is not received clearly by the brain, even if it is made sufficiently loud through hearing aids.
Usually a result of ageing, or injury from noise or particular medication.
Sensory hearing loss is an umbrella term that refers to problems with either the cochlea or the auditory nerve. There is usually damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or auditory nerve.
With the inner ear, loss can happen in the cochlea or auditory nerve, brainstem, or auditory cortex. This is the section in the brain where sound is detected.
People that have auditory neuropathy may have normal hearing, inconsistencies in their hearing, or condition ranging from mild to severe. The precise number of people affected by auditory neuropathy is not known. Still, the condition is thought to involve a relatively small percentage of people who are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Auditory neuropathy is a condition where sound will enter the inner ear typically, yet any transmission of signals that come from the inner ear to the brain is impaired. Even though a person with auditory neuropathy may hear sounds, they may still have trouble understanding speech.
What type of hearing loss requires a hearing aid?
Hearing aids can be useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people with hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This hearing loss is called sensory hearing loss.
Other causes include damage to the nerve in the ear, called the auditory nerve, or the brain. It can be permanent loss resulting from damage to your auditory nerve or the cilia, which are tiny hair-like cells in your inner ear.
Mixed loss combines conductive and sensory hearing loss.
Acute or sudden sensory hearing loss imposes significant auditory difficulties with subsequent varying degrees of fear, anxiety, and depression. A sensory hearing loss is because of insensitivity of the inner ear, cochlea, or to impairment of functions in the auditory nervous system.
Many overlook auditory processing disorder when discussing hearing loss, since it does not affect the ears or the auditory nerve, but the brain itself. Unlike conductive or sensory hearing loss, where the cause is usually noise exposure or blockages, auditory processing disorder is neurological.
The health of your ears.
If you suspect you may have sensory hearing loss, the first step is to have a thorough hearing examination from a qualified healthcare professional. Many health conditions also cause permanent hearing loss, such as genetic disorders, autoimmune conditions such as Meniere’s disease, viral infections including mumps, and head trauma.
Many health conditions, including benign ear tumours, ears shaped differently than usual, head trauma, viruses, and allergies, can cause the condition or tinnitus. With children, your healthcare provider may tell you more about what is causing your child’s hearing loss and the best way it can be treated or managed.
The louder the noise, the shorter the safe exposure is.
And nearly 50% of 12 to 35-year-olds are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from personal audio devices, based on data analysed by the World Health Organization. Overall, we suggest that half of all cases can be prevented through public health measures.
If you suspect that your youngster is suffering from any hearing loss, contact your healthcare provider to schedule an appointment for testing. An experienced professional may be needed to fit them with a hearing aid, they’ll program the device to suit their personal condition.
- There is no cure for sensory hearing loss.
- Your doctor may refer you to a specialist.
- The condition could lead to permanent deafness.
- The hearing nerve transmits sound to the brain.
Your health care team might do tests to find the cause of any problems during treatment. Early treatment for hearing loss is essential for a baby’s health and development.
Fortunately, most children with sensory hearing loss that has occurred on a genetic basis are otherwise healthy. Left untreated, hearing loss is known to impact cognition, health, and mental wellness.
Newborns are checked for hearing problems, however, your child may not receive another routine test until they start school, so contact your healthcare provider right away if you suspect problems. While they’re not a magical cure or a guarantee against hearing loss, it’s been found that some nutrients help play a role in staving off damage and boosting your overall ear health.
It can affect both ears and is permanent.
Foods that promote healthy ears work by nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Good living habits, eating healthy and sufficient sleep are crucial to a lower risk of having the condition.
If your baby shows signs of problems at any time, call his health care provider to get your baby’s hearing checked. Questions about your own health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
Treatment for sensory hearing loss.
Today’s principal treatments, hearing aids and electronic devices called cochlear implants, help many people who have suffered damage to their ears caused by ageing, noise, genetics or drugs. But neither treatment cures nor counters the biological causes of hearing loss.
Sudden sensory hearing loss is considered an emergency, and the first couple of weeks after the onset of the condition is the golden period for treatment. Absent timely treatment could be difficult for the patients to recover their lost hearing.
The symptoms can be minimised with hearing aids.
Children with bilateral sensory hearing loss that’s in the severe-to-profound group are potential candidates for cochlear implants, the only medical treatment available for childhood deafness. However, most individuals may benefit from hearing aids to help manage the remaining sensory hearing loss.
When there is outer ear or middle ear damage, it is a problem which your physician can treat before an audiologist offers any treatment. There, we are both lucky and unlucky, lucky because treatment is often effective unlucky because diagnosing the problem and seeking that treatment often come too late to restore our hearing.
Although about half of people recover some or all their hearing spontaneously, usually within one to two weeks from onset, delaying diagnosis and treatment can decrease treatment effectiveness.
Is a hearing aid needed for sensory hearing loss?
If you have mild to severe sensory hearing loss in one ear, then a conventional hearing aid is the most common treatment option. However, as hearing aids require some useable hearing, they can’t help with profound hearing loss.
Receiving timely treatment increases the chance you will recover at least some of your hearing. Delaying diagnosis and treatment may render treatment less effective or ineffective.
When your condition is severe, and does not respond to treatment, and/or is in both ears, your doctor might recommend that you use hearing aids or even receive cochlear implants. However, sometimes it may continue to get worse long after treatment has ended.
Researchers are beginning to learn a lot about cochlear function, but there are few medical treatments available. The average time someone with hearing loss waits to seek treatment is seven years, which is a tremendous period of cognitive decline easily preventable.
You may experience sudden dizziness, tinnitus and earache.
While some people recover spontaneously or in response to treatment, many others are left with hearing loss and tinnitus with an associated perceived handicap. There is usually no curative medical or surgical treatment available.
Because the cochlea cannot be medically treated, amplification or rehabilitation is the leading and most effective treatment.