Here's What You Should Know About Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Here's What You Should Know About Sensorineural Hearing Loss

We all know how hearing goes with age: The funny image of an older man using the mouthpiece of a horn as a hearing aid resounds with people who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. Losing your hearing has direct effects on your quality of life and everyday activities, but there are things that you can do to protect it. 

Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida is led by Wade Han, MD, FACS, and Elvira Livigni-De Armas, AUD, ear health specialists who regularly diagnose and treat anything affecting the ear, as well as offer you the necessary guidance to protect your hearing. Here’s what they want you to know about sensorineural hearing loss.

What’s the deal with hearing loss? 

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, you’re unlikely to miss it. Understand that not all hearing loss has a singular cause, but all causes of hearing loss are covered by one of three main categories: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also mention a fourth type of hearing loss, Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder

An estimated 36 million people, including around 4 million children and adolescents, experience hearing loss. Around 90% of people experiencing hearing loss have sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL, making it the most prevalent type of hearing loss. SNHL doesn’t affect one demographic disproportionately, though there are risk factors.

About half of children born with SNHL inherit it from one or both sides of their biological families. Hearing-hostile environments are responsible for a number of cases, as loud noises, particularly for a sustained period of time, can damage sensitive structures in the ear. Having a personal history of ear infections or other illnesses that affect the ears can raise your risk of hearing loss.

How did this happen? 

SNHL is the result of damage to the super-fine micro hairs in the inner ear, or to the nerves that connect the ear to the brain. SNHL can happen slowly, over the course of time, or suddenly, which requires a call to your provider at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center as soon as possible. 

Aging, or presbycusis, is one of the main causes of SNHL. As we age, everything in our bodies, including the nerves of the inner ear, change, and in some cases, weaken. An estimated one-third of senior people over 65 are suffering from age-related hearing decline. By age 75, that number rises to about half.

Hearing loss has a number of different causes outside of aging and loud noises, though those are the most common causes. If you’re infected with measles, meningitis, lupus, mumps, or thyroiditis, you’re at elevated risk of experiencing hearing loss. 

Some people experience hearing loss as the result of a head injury, or an ear injury. Tumors can appear and grow in the ear, and certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs can also raise your risk of hearing loss. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of SNHL include:

While conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss have similar symptoms, the options for treatment for any of the three conditions are different, and each person has unique needs that are best treated by your provider at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

What can I do about this type of hearing loss?

For some patients living with severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be recommended to enhance their hearing abilities. For most patients, we generally recommend a hearing aid and offer several options that might fit their needs. 

Your hearing is directly tied to your quality of life. If your hearing isn’t at its best, you’re not able to drive safely, properly assess your surroundings, or simply enjoy conversations with loved ones. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, call either of our Florida offices for a consultation or book an appointment with us online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! My Baby Keeps Getting Ear Infections

Ear infections are extremely common in children, and recurring infections can be expected in some children. Learn how our care experts can help you navigate your baby’s multiple ear infections.

Top Treatments for Allergies

If you’re one of the millions of people living with allergies, you already know how uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, spring can be. Treating your allergies is not only the way to get relief but also to prevent them from getting worse.

Why Do I Keep Getting Ear Infections?

Ear infections are miserable to experience, and sometimes, they come back. If you’ve been dealing with chronic ear infections, our ENT specialist can help you.

Am I a Good Candidate for Plastic Surgery?

You only live once, and you should love your reflection. Plastic surgery won’t give you a new life, but it has given many a new lease on life. If you’re considering plastic surgery, read on to see if you could be a candidate.

What Is It Like Adjusting to a Hearing Aid?

As precious as our hearing is, we can lose it in part, or completely, necessitating a hearing aid. Getting used to your new device, however, may bring up some questions, all of which we’re happy to answer.

All About Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a miserable condition that affects millions of people. Fortunately, we offer treatments that can bring the relief you’ve been waiting for.