Watch a YouTube video by Dr. Yorgason on hearing loss, and surgical treatment of hearing disorders.
A sensori-neural or nerve type hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve of hearing which connects the inner ear with the brain. With or without a hearing aid, persons of both types of hearing loss can often benefit from special instruction in lipreading and learning to concentrate on the desired message while ignoring other competing sounds.
If the sound of words seems undiminished but you have trouble understanding what is being said, especially in a noisy environment, you may be suffering from a sensori-neural loss. You may be unable to hear high-pitched sounds such as the ticking of a watch, the dripping of a faucet, or the high notes of a violin. You may also hear a continuous “hissing” or “ringing” as a background to the real sounds in your environment. Words may have a rumbling, “fuzzy” quality, and you may think that people are mumbling or slurring their words.
Common Causes of Sensori-neural Loss
Some of the more common causes of sensori-neural loss are:
- The aging process
- Exposure to high levels of noise
- Illnesses with high fever
- Drugs such as quinine, certain antibiotics, high dosages of aspirin, nicotine, alcohol.
- Childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, etc.
- Meniere’s disease (caused by increased amounts of fluid in the inner ear).
- Vascular problems
- Head injuries
- Metabolic disorders
- Viral diseases
- Birth defects
Sensori-neural hearing losses are rarely treatable through surgery or medication. In many cases the only effective solution is a hearing aid. The process to determine this is called a hearing aid evaluation which can be arranged through your doctor or audiologist.