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How Does Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occur

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Where Can I Find Additional Information About Age

How Does Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occur?

The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that provide information on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

Use the following keywords to help you find organizations that can answer questions and provide information on age-related hearing loss:

Causes Of Conductive Hearing Loss

Can ear wax cause hearing loss? Yes, one of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss is a blockage in the external ear canal, usually caused by wax . Other causes of conductive hearing loss can be infections of the ear canal, a perforated or ruptured eardrum , very small ears, cysts and tumours, or foreign objects in the ear canal. Otosclerosis, which is an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear, can also cause a conductive hearing loss.In the middle ear conductive hearing loss occurs due to chronic middle ear infections or glue ear, where fluids fill up the middle ear, so that the eardrum cannot move. Conductive hearing loss can also be caused by diseases, damage and physical changes in the middle ear such as otosclerosis, cholesteatoma, tumours and otic barotrauma.

Hearing Impairment In Infants

The following signs may indicate a hearing problem:

  • Before the age of 4 months, the baby does not turn their head toward a noise.
  • The infant does not appear to be startled by a loud noise.
  • The infant responds to you when they can see you, but respond far less or do not respond at all when you are out of sight and call out their name.
  • The infant only seems to be aware of certain sounds.

Whats Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or auditory nerve.

Hearing instruments, such as hearing aids, can often be beneficial for persons with mixed hearing loss, depending on many factors. Medicine and surgery may also be viable treatment options.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Causes

MELAS Syndrome  Young Scientists Journal

Many factors, both genetic and environmental, can lead to the development of sensorineural hearing loss. Some causes can happen over the course of ones life, whereas others may be present at birth.

The most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. This is a gradual process that is typically noticed in older adults. According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly 30% of adults over the age of 65 have permanent hearing loss. Presbycusis occurs due to the natural degradation of the inner ears hair cells. This may occur from constant exposure to loud noises or other age-related issues.

The next most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss. When an individual is exposed to excessively loud noise, permanent damage to their eardrum or other parts of the ear can occur. Noise-related hearing loss can happen over years, or it can cause sudden hearing loss. The list below shows the other common causes of sensorineural hearing loss.

How Is Sudden Deafness Treated

The most common treatment for sudden deafness, especially when the cause is unknown, is corticosteroids. Steroids can treat many disorders and usually work by reducing inflammation, decreasing swelling, and helping the body fight illness. Previously, steroids were given in pill form. In 2011, a clinical trial supported by the NIDCD showed that intratympanic injection of steroids was as effective as oral steroids. After this study, doctors started prescribing direct intratympanic injection of steroids into the middle ear; the medication then flows into the inner ear. The injections can be performed in the offices of many otolaryngologists, and are a good option for people who cannot take oral steroids or want to avoid their side effects.

Steroids should be used as soon as possible for the best effect and may even be recommended before all test results come back. Treatment that is delayed for more than two to four weeks is less likely to reverse or reduce permanent hearing loss.

Additional treatments may be needed if your doctor discovers an underlying cause of your SSHL. For example, if SSHL is caused by an infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If you took drugs that were toxic to the ear, you may be advised to switch to another drug. If an autoimmune condition caused your immune system to attack the inner ear, the doctor may prescribe drugs that suppress the immune system.

Central Auditory Processing Disorders:

Auditory Processing Disorders , also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder is the reduced or impaired ability to discriminate, recognize or comprehend complex sounds, such as those used in words, even though the persons hearing is normal. For example, understanding boat for coat or the not being able to discriminate the difference in sounds between sh and ch It is a complex problem that affects about 5% to 7% of school-aged children and it is twice as often diagnosed in boys than in girls.

Although it is difficult to understand, APD is not a problem with hearing per se. The problem lies in the hearing process. In children/adults with APD these electrical signals that come from the sound waves into the ear and are sent to the brain arrive with a delay or distortion, which makes learning and memorizing very difficult.

Arches Tinnitus Formulas For Ssnhl And Tinnitus

Arches Tinnitus Formula contains our proprietary ginkgo extract, Ginkgo Max 26/7. This has a higher and more concentrated amount of ginkgo extract than the standardized EGb 761. It was designed specifically for people with tinnitus and has elevated levels of ginkgo flavone glycosides, terpene lactones and bilobalide. In a comparison with standardized ginkgo, Ginkgo Max comes out way ahead.

It also contains a therapeutic amount of zinc picolinate, shown in studies to be effective in reducing tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula contains therapeutic amounts of most of the major B vitamins. B vitamins are absolutely essential for the proper functioning of human metabolism and energy production. They are known to keep the nervous system operating properly and act as stress relievers and energy enhancers. The family of B vitamins is grouped together due to the interrelationships in their functioning with human enzyme systems.

Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula also contains the important B6, necessary to metabolize homocysteine.

Arches Tinnitus B12 Formula contains vitamin B12 and methylfolate, which does not need conversion, and which is the most viable form of folate available. This is in a separate bottle because it is a sublingual lozenge, designed to be dissolved under the tongue. Vitamin B12 is destroyed during digestion. By dissolving it under the tongue it goes directly into the bloodstream from the mouth.

Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss (English)

Contributed by Debbie Clason, staff writer, Healthy HearingLast updated October 29, 20192019-10-29T00:00:00-05:00

When it comes to hearing loss, there are three main types: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Sensorineural is the far more common type of hearing loss, affecting roughly 9 out of 10 people with hearing loss. 

Sensorineural hearing loss can makeconversations a struggle to understand.

Having sensorineural hearing loss means there is damage either to the tiny hair cells in your inner ear , or to the nerve pathways that lead from your inner ear to the brain. It normally affects both ears. Once you develop sensorineural hearing loss, you have it for the rest of your life. It can be mild, moderate, severe or profound

When To See A Doctor

If you suspect your child is suffering from any sort of hearing loss, contact your healthcare provider to schedule an appointment for testing. An infection or an injury that causes pain or bleeding from the ears are all signs that you should seek immediate emergency care for your child.

Early childhood is a critical period for children to learn language, so early detection can give you, your healthcare providers, and your childs teachers as much time as possible to teach language skills and other coping strategies.

Tips: How To Talk With Someone With Hearing Loss

Here are some tips you can use when talking with someone who has a hearing problem:

  • In a group, include people with hearing loss in the conversation.
  • Find a quiet place to talk to help reduce background noise, especially in restaurants and at social gatherings.
  • Stand in good lighting and use facial expressions or gestures to give clues.
  • Face the person and speak clearly. Maintain eye contact.
  • Speak a little more loudly than normal, but dont shout. Try to speak slowly, but naturally.
  • Speak at a reasonable speed.
  • Do not hide your mouth, eat, or chew gum while speaking.
  • Repeat yourself if necessary, using different words.
  • Try to make sure only one person talks at a time.
  • Be patient. Stay positive and relaxed.
  • Ask how you can help.

Central Or Cortical Deafness

Central or cortical deafness is a rare and dramatic clinical presentation. The first description of this rare disorder is attributed to Wernicke and Friedlander . They reported a patient with bilateral temporal-lobe lesions but with no apparent damage to the hearing organ, who showed no awareness of sounds. Wernicke and Friedlander coined the term cortical deafness, which has been used since as well as the term central deafness. The term deaf-hearing has also been used for cases who show some response to sound, postulated to be reflexive, but with no sound awareness .

The clinical presentation is similar to cochlear-type profound deafness, in that these patients do not show consistent response to sounds and give raised thresholds on audiometry. However, peripheral detection of sounds is either intact or partially impaired. This is indicated by present responses in lower-level tests of the sensory end-organ such as transient evoked otoacoustic emissions . Auditory nerve and low brainstem tests, including acoustic reflexes and auditory brainstem evoked responses, are similarly elicited by normal or lower sensation levels than expected in view of the audiometric results . These findings contrast with abnormal results in evoked potentials that arise from the thalamocortical pathway and beyond, such as middle-latency and late auditory evoked potentials, indicating that the behavioral lack of response to sounds is due to impaired perceptual awareness of the sound.

Cochlear Dead Regions In Sensory Hearing Loss

What is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss/Sudden Deafness ...
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Hearing impairment may be associated with damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. Sometimes there may be complete loss of function of inner hair cells over a certain region of the cochlea; this is called a “dead region”. The region can be defined in terms of the range of characteristic frequencies of the IHCs and/or neurons immediately adjacent to the dead region.

Cochlear hair cells

Outer hair cells contribute to the structure of the Organ of Corti, which is situated between the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane within the cochlea . The tunnel of corti, which runs through the Organ of Corti, divides the OHCs and the inner hair cells . OHCs are connected to the reticular laminar and the Deiters cells. There are roughly twelve thousand OHCs in each human ear, and these are arranged in up to five rows. Each OHC has small tufts of ‘hairs’, or cilia, on their upper surface known as stereocilia, and these are also arranged into rows which are graded in height. There are approximately 140 stereocilia on each OHC.

Hair cell damage

Sound Or Stress Training

Despite different people having different thresholds for what noises are painful, this pain threshold has no correlation with which noises cause hearing damage. The ear can not get more resistant to noise harmfulness by training it to noise. The cochlea is partially protected by the acoustic reflex, but being frequently exposed to noise does not lower the reflex threshold. It had been observed that noise conditioning several hours prior to the exposure to traumatizing sound level, significantly reduced the damages inflicted to the hair-cells. The same “protective effect” was also observed with other stressors such as heat-shock conditioning and stress conditioning. This âprotective effect” only happens if the traumatizing noise is presented within an optimum interval of time after the sound-conditioning session .This “protective effect” had long been thought to involve the active mechanisms of the outer hair cells and the efferent system commanding them. The contractile effect of the outer hair cells, activated by the efferent nervous system has been proven to provide a protective effect against acoustic trauma.

afferentefferent

Physiological response

Study Compares Steroid Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy And Acupuncture

A recent study was conducted in Korea and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in July, 2021.

This study compared steroid therapy alone, then combined with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy , and then HBOT and acupuncture. The study participants were treated with steroid therapy alone , steroid combined with HBOT and steroid, HBOT and acupuncture Group.

Acupuncture is believed to stimulate complex biomechanical and biochemical processes with healing effects. These include promoting blood circulation, reducing blood viscosity and relieving or preventing local ischemic and anaerobic conditions .

Results showed the S-H-A group had improved hearing outcomes. They had greater hearing gain and had more favorable outcomes in hearing recovery compared with the S and S-H groups. The S+S-H group had better recovery than the S group.

Causes Of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is caused by many factors, most frequently from natural aging or exposure to loud noise. The most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Aging

Things that can cause sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Aging
  • Viral infections
  • Shingles
  • Ototoxic drugs
  • Meningitis
  • High fever or elevated body temperature
  • Ménière’s disease
  • Acoustic tumors

Things that can cause conductive hearing loss are:

  • Infections of the ear canal or middle ear resulting in fluid or pus buildup
  • Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
  • Wax buildup
  • Dislocation of the middle ear bones
  • Foreign object in the ear canal
  • Otosclerosis
  • Abnormal growths or tumors

Hearing And Cognitive Health

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occurs in the Cochlea | MED-EL

Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing. Cognitive abilities decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older adults with normal hearing. Treating hearing problems may be important for cognitive health. See Whats the Connection Between Hearing and Cognitive Health?

Causes Of Ssnhl And Tinnitus

Many doctors believe SSNHL results from an auto-immune condition or a viral infection. Accordingly, they treat this with steroids or anti-viral medications. Research has not supported this belief and clinical trials have shown steroids and anti-viral meds perform no better than placebo. In about 90% of cases there is no specific cause that can be identified. This is termed idiopathic SSNHL.

However, it is widely believed that treatment should begin as early as possible, within 10 days of onset, for best results.

A study conducted in 2005 found patients with sudden hearing loss had higher homocysteine and lower methylfolate levels than healthy patients.

Another study established that, Folate levels were found to be significantly lower in SSNHL patients than controls. And, A significant relationship was found between low folate levels and high homocysteine levels in all patients.

Homocysteine is an amino acid formed from the metabolism of methionine, found in high concentrations in meat and dairy products. The western diet is rich in these foods and elevated homocysteine levels are common.

Elevated homocysteine levels in the bloodstream have been shown to lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease, hearing loss, several types of cancer, and Alzheimers disease. Homocysteine is the agent that damages blood vessel linings and allows the formation of plaque build-up, thereby reducing circulation.

Homocysteine can be metabolized and neutralized by the vitamins B6, B12 and folate.

Hearing Loss: A Common Problem For Older Adults

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Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctors advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.

Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has difficulty hearing. But, some people may not want to admit they have trouble hearing.

Older people who cant hear well may become depressed, or they may withdraw from others because they feel frustrated or embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. Sometimes, older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative because they dont hear well.

Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. Hearing aids, special training, certain medicines, and surgery are some of the treatments that can help.

Types Of Hearing Loss In Adults

NYU Langone specialists are experienced at distinguishing different types of hearing loss, a reduction in a persons ability to perceive sound. Hearing loss can affect people of any age, though it is most common in adults over age 60.

Hearing loss may be accompanied by a ringing or other sound in the ears, called tinnitus; a feeling of dizziness or spinning, called vertigo; or a sensation of pressure or pain in the ears. Not being able to hear high-pitched sounds such as a ringing telephone or the beep of an alarm may be an early sign of hearing loss.

The causes and symptoms of hearing loss fall into three categories: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. Our otolaryngologistsalso known as ear, nose, and throat physicianswork closely with audiologists, who are specialists in the diagnosis of hearing disorders, to evaluate your ears and the overall quality of your hearing to determine which type of hearing loss is causing your symptoms.

Lip Reading And Sign Language

Nerve Deafness or Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can sometimes affect your speech, as well as your ability to understand other people. Many people with significant hearing loss learn to communicate in other ways instead of, or as well as, spoken English.

For people who experience hearing loss after they’ve learnt to talk, lip-reading can be a very useful skill. Lip-reading is where you watch a persons mouth movements while they’re speaking, to understand what they’re saying.

For people born with a hearing impairment, lip-reading is much more difficult. Those who are born with a hearing impairment often learn sign language, such as British Sign Language , which is a form of communication that uses hand movements and facial expressions to convey meaning.

BSL is completely different from spoken English and has its own grammar and syntax . Other types of sign language include Signed English and Paget Gorman Signed Speech.

What Causes Hearing Impairment

The most common cause of conductive hearing loss in kids and teens is otitis media, which is the medical term for an ear infection that affects the middle ear. Ear infections cause a buildup of fluid or pus behind the eardrum, which can block the transmission of sound. Even after the infection gets better, fluid might stay in the middle ear for weeks or even months, causing difficulty hearing.

But this fluid is usually temporary, and whether it goes away on its own or with the help of medications, once it’s gone a person’s hearing typically returns to normal. Blockages in the ear, such as a foreign object, impacted earwax or dirt, or fluid due to colds and allergies, can also cause conductive hearing loss.

People also get conductive hearing loss when key parts of the ear the eardrum, ear canal, or ossicles are damaged. For example, a tear or hole in the eardrum can interfere with its ability to vibrate properly. Causes of this damage may include inserting an object such as a cotton swab too far into the ear, a sudden explosion or other loud noise, a sudden change in air pressure, a head injury, or repeated ear infections.

Sensorineural hearing impairment results from problems with or damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. Its causes include:

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Treatment For Conductive Hearing Loss

Treatments for conductive hearing loss depend on the underlying cause and may include:

  • Bone conduction hearing aid or a conventional hearing aid may be used.
  • An osseointegrated device may be implanted.
  • CHS caused by acute infections are usually treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications.
  • Infectious middle ear fluid may also be treated with antibiotics.
  • CHS caused by chronic ear infections, chronic middle fluid, and tumors usually require surgery.
  • Chronic non-infectious middle ear fluid may also be treated with surgery or tubes.
  • CHS from head trauma often requires surgical repair of the damaged middle ear structures.
  • CHS caused by otosclerosis can be treated with surgery to replace the immobile bone with a mobile stapes prosthesis, or a hearing aid may be recommended. Otosclerosis may also cause SNHL.

Exposure To Loud Noise

As stated earlier, extended or sudden exposure to loud noise can damage the hair cells in your ear and cause sensorineural hearing loss. Most people think that until they have been exposed to loud noise over an extended time, no damage is done to their hair, but this is not true. Sudden exposure to loud noise, for instance, a bomb blast, can instantly damage your ears. Depending on the amount of damage done to the ear, the hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Sensorineural hearing loss that is caused by sudden exposure to loud noise often affects only one ear.Occupational noises, noise from recreational activities like snowmobiling, noise in musical activities like concerts and clubs, or constant use of headphones at high volumes for an extended period can all cause sensorineural hearing loss.

What Is The Best Treatment For Sensorineural Hearing Loss

How does hearing loss happen?

Those who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss may not be able to regain their full hearing capacity, even with treatment. However, there are remedies to improve hearing and surgical procedures that may recover some hearing. New York ENT doctors may recommend any of the following treatment options, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual:

If you are suffering from sensorineural hearing loss, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ear-related conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at to schedule an appointment today.

Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Acquired means the hearing loss develops after a person is born, usually later in life. Causes can include:

  • Aging: One of the most common conditions of growing older is presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, affecting one in three Americans between the ages of 65-74. Because this type of loss occurs over time, typically in both ears, its sometimes difficult to notice.
  • Noise: Noise-induced hearing loss  can be caused by exposure to a one-time loud noise, such as an explosion or gunfire, or from sounds louder than 85 decibels over an extended period of time. If you have to shout to be heard or your ears ring after attending a live concert or ballgame, your hearing health is at risk.
  • Disease and infections: Viral infectionsincluding measles, meningitis and mumpscan cause sensorineural hearing loss. 
  • Head or acoustic trauma: Damage to your inner ear also can be caused by a blow to the head or exposure to extremely loud noise, such as an explosion. Many veterans suffer from sensorineural hearing loss due to time they spent around firearms, artillery and jet engines.
  • Tumors: Examples of common tumors that can affect hearing include acoustic neuroma and cholesteatoma, an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear.
  • Medications: More than 200 medications and chemicals are ototoxic, or damaging to your hearing health. Some of those known to cause permanent damage include certain types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications and cancer chemotherapy drugs.

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