What Causes Sensorineural Hearing Loss
There are a number of known causes for sensorineural hearing loss, these include specific kinds of illnesses that were not treated properly, taking drugs that are toxic to the hearing parts of the ears or those specific neurological pathways, injury to the head, aging, birth defects or exposure to sudden and unexpected loud noises or being exposed to loud noises over a period of time.
Most of those who experience this kind of hearing loss have damage to the hair cells in the cochlea, where the hairs which help to move the sound waves along the inner ear are irreparably damaged in some way.
Your Sense of Hearing, what do You Know About Yours?
More unusually are those who experience damage to the cranial nerve or the auditory parts of the brain.
There are levels of damage that can affect the severity of sensorineural hearing loss.
If the damage is mild, it may result in muffled or garbled sounds, such as being able to distinguish one voice in a crowd of voices or being able to hear conversation when there is background noise such as music or repetitive noises.
For those who suffer from more severe cases it can result in living in a sort of isolated state.
You can hear that things are happening outside or around you, but cannot individuate between specific sounds or determine the direction that they are coming from.
A Stapedectomy Treats Otosclerosis
This procedure is used to treat otosclerosis, a condition that causes the bones and tissue of the middle ear to harden, causing the stapes bone to become stuck in place. The bone is unable to vibrate and send sound through the ear, resulting in hearing loss.
A stapedectomy implants aprosthetic device designed to bypass the bones in the middle ear.
In order to determine if surgery is right for you, your audiologist will need to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. Contact the experts at ENT of Athens to get started today.
Hearing Loss In Adults
People over age 50 may experience gradual hearing loss over the years due to age-related changes in the ear or auditory nerve. The medical term for age-related hearing loss is presbycusis. Having presbycusis may make it hard for a person to tolerate loud sounds or to hear what others are saying.
Other causes of hearing loss in adults include:
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Hearing Aids Turn An Invisible Disability Into A Visible One
One of the biggest problems for someone with a hearing loss is that it is invisible. Meaning that someone looking at you cannot tell if you have a problem hearing or not. Now, you may like this fact but in reality, it does you a disservice.
When someone knows that you have a hearing loss they will naturally try to speak slower and more clear. People articulate their words more and face you when speaking to you. If they are not aware of your hearing loss, they likely speak while not looking at you and talk to you when there is background noise present.
Think of it this way with this analogy. Imagine that you were in a wheelchair. No one in their right mind would ever take you to a set of stairs and ask you to walk down it. However, if you have a hearing loss, anyone wouldnt think twice about taking you into a very noisy restaurant and say lets have a conversation.
This is because hearing loss is an invisible disability, people do not realize that you may struggle to hear in a complexed noisy environment. When you wear a visible hearing aid. Meaning one that isnt hidden down deep in your ear canal, co-workers, strangers and anyone else will be able to see that you have a hearing loss and naturally use better communication strategies.
Can Surgery Correct Hearing Loss
Can surgery correct hearing loss?
Nearly 48 million Americans have some type of hearing loss that affects their ability to communicate effectively. If you have hearing loss, you might wonder if there are surgeries that can restore your hearing. The answer is dependent on the cause and/or location of your hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is an obstruction or damage to the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from being conducted to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Sometimes medical or surgical intervention can restore hearing. Examples of causes of conductive hearing loss are wax in the ear canal or an outer or middle ear infection.
Surgeries for Conductive Hearing Loss
PE tubes These are placed into the eardrum to ventilate and drain the middle ear and are most commonly used for chronic middle ear infections. This happens most often in children, but many adults may also experience ear infections or pressure in the ear that benefit from ventilating the middle ear space.
Stapedectomy This surgical procedure is used for Otosclerosis and implants a prosthetic device designed to bypass abnormal hardening of the bone tissue in the middle ear.
Sensorineural Hearing loss
Mixed Hearing Loss
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Sensorineural Hearing Loss Is Permanent
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the cochlea, which is the organ of hearing or along the nerve that conducts the signal to the brain. Most often, it is created when the sensory cell in the cochlea is damaged or dies.
We hear because the sound waves are transferred into mechanical vibrations by the eardrum. The vibrations are then conducted through the middle ear bones and push a window in the inner ear creating a wave of fluid movement. This fluid movement causes potassium to enter what is known as a hair cell.
A hair cell has nothing to do with the hair on your head or anywhere else on your body but is named such because it has microscopic filaments on the top that stand straight up and look like hair.
The potassium that was allowed into the hair cells creates an electrical neural signal that the travels to the brain and are understood as a sound.The whole problem with our hearing loss being permanent is that when a hair cell dies it does not regenerate.
Luckily, we have between 15,000 to 23,000 of these hair cells in each ear. Depending on the health of those hair cells we may have varying levels of hearing loss and also a loss at only specific frequencies.
Having extra hair cells creates a redundancy that is essential for a proper hearing ability like more complex tasks of hearing in background noise. When these sensory hair cells die or are damaged it results in a hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Causes And Treatment
The identification and treatment of sensorineural hearing loss can be devastating, for it cannot be corrected either by medical or surgical procedures. But in order to understand just what this particular type of loss is and why it is important, you first need to understand just how the process of hearing works.
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Surgery Is Not For Every Hearing Problem
As technology continues to advance, perhaps people with hearing problems will have new options. Today, surgery doesnt help everyone. Some types of permanent hearing loss cant be corrected, and there are many people who can live normally with hearing aids and dont need to risk procedures. Speaking to your healthcare provider is the best way to find out if surgery can help your hearing loss.
In Search Of Better Faster And Safer
So things seemed to stand, until recently. Then several studies were published that challenged these long-held assumptions, suggesting that steroids given by injection into the ear, called intratympanic steroid injection, could achieve a higher concentration of the drug in the inner ear than could oral administration and that this might salvage more hearing than oral steroid therapy. The use of the injection was rst studied in guinea pigs by Lorne Parnes, M.D., and his colleagues, who later showed the efcacy of this approach in some cases of SSNHL in humans.7 The steroid, injected into the middle ear in a simple ofce procedure, will partially diffuse into the inner ear uids. Parnes reported some hearing improvement in 6 of 12 patients with SSNHL treated this way. Since then, a handful of other uncontrolled studies on intratympanic steroid injection for SSNHL has suggested that treatment is benecial in one-half to three-fourths of cases, similar to the results of using oral steroids.
For all its apparent promise, however, the actual success rate is not known for intratympanic steroid injections as compared with oral treatment, because no studies have been published with control populations treated with conventional oral dosing. To produce the evidence and answers needed, a national multicenter clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health is now underway.
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What Is The Next Best Alternative To Surgical Hearing Correction
Keep in mind that only a small number of people with hearing loss will benefit from surgery. In most cases, hearing aids are the best option for restoring communication abilities.
There are a large variety of styles available, and most of todays devices include state-of-the-art features such as Bluetooth® connectivity.
If you are experiencing hearing loss in Charleston and would like information on treatment options, schedule an appointment with a qualified audiologist today.
Is Surgery To Correct Hearing Loss Right For You
Jun 12, 2018 | Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects millions of Americans each day. If you have a disorder of the ear that affects your temporal bone, surgery to correct hearing loss could be used in conjunction with medical options to allow you to hear better, perhaps even at normal levels. Surgery doesnt restore normal hearing in every case, so its important to understand what types of surgery are likely to help which types of hearing loss.
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The Largest Complaint With Those With Sensorineural Hearing Loss Is Background Noise Interference
I hear it multiple times a day phrased different ways such as: In a restaurant, I cant hear the person next to me but I hear the person across the room. Or, I hear all the children playing and crying in church but I cant hear the pastor. Or when there are multiple people talking at a time I dont make out what anyone is saying.
There are a few problems occurring in this situation. This last week I wrote an in-depth article about the difference between hearing and listening.
In these situations, the hearing aid is doing it chief job which is providing the amplification to soft sounds however amplification is only hearing, it doesnt help the listening or understanding part. Listening is a cognitive task that is very difficult in background noise.
As a universal problem with persons who have a hearing loss is the difficulty separating the background noise out of the speech that is desired. This is difficult for normal hearing individuals too.
Generally, as we age, the task of understanding speech in background noise becomes increasingly difficult for even normal hearing individuals. It also is more of a problem for men than it is women. But the largest issue is that a hearing loss increases the load put on the processing capability of the brain .
The more noise you add, the more the pupils constrict, which indicates you try harder to figure out the words, but at a certain point the brain gives up and stops trying.
How Do Cochlear Implants Work
Cochlear implants consist of an electronic device that is surgically implanted beneath the skin behind the ear this is connected to electrodes that are inserted in the cochlea.
An external component contains a microphone that captures sound and a speech processor that converts it to electrical signals these are transmitted to the internal device, which sends the impulses to the electrodes, where they are processed as sound.
Not all patients are viable candidates for cochlear implants they must meet certain specific criteria and be in good overall physical health. The invasive nature of this surgery makes it best suited for patients who are severely hearing impaired or deaf.
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How The Ear And Hearing System Works
To better understand different types of hearing loss its important to first understand how our hearing system works.
There are three major parts of the ear: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves travel through the outer ear and cause the eardrum to vibrate. The ear drum is connected to tiny bones in the middle ear. Therefore, when the eardrum vibrates due to sound waves striking it, the tiny bones start moving which causes parts of the liquid in the inner ear to move. These movements differ according to the loudness and pitch of the sound and are detected by the auditory nerve that carries this information to the brain. In the brain this information is processed so that we can recognise it as sound. In short, sound waves set parts of our hearing system into motion that eventually trigger electrical signals to be carried from the cochlear to the brain via the auditory nerve.
Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome
This disorder affects less than one percent of the world’s population. It is caused by the presence of a tiny hole in a bone in the inner ear.
This hole causes balance disorders, vertigo, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to noise.
People with SCDS often complain that their voice, the sound of their pulse, and even the movement of their eyeball are too loud and unbearable.
This condition can be detected with a CT scan and corrected with surgery, but surgical complications like nerve damage and hearing loss may occur.
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Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment Massachusetts
Hearing loss can be a damaging condition that alters the quality of life for many people. However, there are methods to help improve both speech and other sounds so that people with hearing loss can still enjoy their lives to the fullest. If you feel as if your hearing may not be as good as it used to be, take the initiative to contact an audiologist right away. Properly diagnosing the problem can help in facilitating accurate and effective treatments. Audiologists at Atlantic Hearing Care are experts in determining the types of hearing loss and choosing the best treatments for recovery.
The first step towards better hearing health is an appointment with our expert staff. Contact us today:
Symptoms Of A Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Typically, a sensorineural hearing loss develops gradually and slowly becomes worse and worse. It does not happen from day to another unless it is a sudden sensorineural hearing loss . In this way, we often do not notice that our hearing has becomes worse.
But if it has become more difficult to hear voices in places with background noise, e.g. at parties, restaurants or family gatherings, or it has become more difficult to hear or understand females or childrens voices, you might have a sensorineural hearing loss. Problems hearing soft or high sounds such as the clock ticking, the refrigerator humming or the birds singing may also be an indication of a sensorineural hearing loss.
If you are not sure whether you are suffering from SNHL, you can find more information about the general signs of hearing loss.
If you think that you might have a sensorineural hearing loss, we recommend that you get your hearing checked by a hearing professional.
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Connect With Bluetooth Cell Phones
We live in a day and age when we are always connected to our cell phone and by using Bluetooth technology we can stream phone calls directly to the hearing aids.
This enables the benefit of listening to the phone call in both ears with the correct frequency amplification for each ear. Listening binaurally greatly improves the brains ability to decipher difficult words.
In addition to having the luxury of phone calls directly to the hearing aids, Bluetooth also allows any signal to be streamed to the hearing aids. So whether you are listening to a podcast, audiobook, music or watching a show on Netflix from your phone or iPad, you can have a direct connection to it.
Spouses often like their partner to use Bluetooth because then it allows them to stream their media without interrupting them at all. Especially, when the hearing aid user likes to stay up late at night.
What Are Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants are electrical devices surgically inserted into the inner ear. Users wear a small microphone behind their ear that converts sound waves into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is then transmitted to the implant within the ear which stimulates the auditory nerve allowing the user to hear. Therefore,cochlear implants allow people to hear despite damage to the inner ear.
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Can Lost Hearing Be Restored
The quick and frank answer to the question, Can lost hearing be restored? is no, once hearing is lost, you cannot restore it to how it was.
But notice the how it was part of that answer. Thats because, while you cant go back to the way you used to hear, you can still absolutely treat hearing loss and significantly improve how well youre currently hearing.
Let us explain.
There are basically two types of hearing loss. One type conductive hearing loss happens when sounds are unable to travel through the outer or middle ear due to an obstruction or other issue. Many times, conductive hearing loss can be treated with surgery or medicine.
The most common type of hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or hearing nerve stops working how it should, usually from damage caused by aging or noise.
While sensorineural hearing loss cant be corrected medically or surgically, it can almost always be treated and helped with amplification.