Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss, or deafness, in which the root cause lies in the inner ear or sensory organ (cochlea and associated structures)or the vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve VIII)or neural part. SNHL accounts for about 90% of hearing loss reported. SNHL is generally permanent and can be mild, moderate, severe, profound, or total. Various other descriptors can be used such as high frequency, low frequency, U-shaped, notched, peaked or flat depending on the shape of the audiogram, the measure of hearing.

Sensory hearing loss occurs as a consequence of damaged or deficient cochlear hair cell function. The hair cells may be abnormal at birth, or damaged during the lifetime of an individual. There are both external causes of damage, like noise trauma and infection, and intrinsic abnormalities, like deafness genes. A common cause or exacerbating factor in sensory hearing loss is prolonged exposure to environmental noise, for example, being in a loud workplace without wearing protection, or having headphones set to high volumes for a long period. Exposure to a very loud noise such as a bomb blast can cause noise-induced hearing loss.

Neural, or 'retrocochlear', hearing loss occurs because of damage to the cochlear nerve (CVIII). This damage may affect the initiation of the nerve impulse in the cochlear nerve or the transmission of the nerve impulse along the nerve into the brainstem.

Most cases of SNHL present with a gradual deterioration of hearing thresholds occurring over years to decades. In some the loss may eventually affect large portions of the frequency range. It may be accompanied by other symptoms such as ringing in the ears(tinnitus), dizziness or lightheadedness(vertigo). SNHL can be inherited (genetic))or acquired(result from external causes like noise or disease). It may be congenital (present at birth) or develop later in life. The most common kind of sensorineural hearing loss is age-related (presbycusis), followed by noise-induced hearing loss(NIHL).

Frequent symptoms of SNHL are loss of acuity in distinguishing foreground voices against noisy backgrounds, difficulty understanding on the telephone, some kinds of sounds seeming excessively loud or shrill (recruitment), difficulty understanding some parts of speech (fricatives and sibilants), loss of directionality of sound, esp. high frequency sounds, perception that people mumble when speaking, and difficulty understanding speech. Similar symptoms are also associated with other kinds of hearing loss; audiometry or other diagnostic tests are necessary to distinguish sensorineural hearing loss.

Identification of sensorineural hearing loss is usually made by perfor and speech audiometry may be helpful. Testing is performed by an audiologist.There is no proven or recommended treatment or cure for SNHL; management of hearing loss is usually by hearing strategies and hearing aid. In cases of profound or total deafness, a cochlear implant is a specialised hearing aid which may restore a functional level of hearing. SNHL is at least partially preventable by avoiding environmental noise, ototoxic chemicals and drugs, and head trauma, and treating or inoculating against certain triggering diseases and conditions like meningitis.

We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: american speech language hearing association sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss healthy hearing sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss california ear institute sensorineural hearing loss presbycusis hearing loss
signs and symptoms ann and robert h.lurie childrens hospital of chicago ear - sensori neural loss texas childrens hospital sensorineural hearing loss everyday hearing sensorineural hearing loss living with severe hearing loss sudden sensorineural hearing loss march 23, 2016 dr. puneet titoria, mb, chb, mba, frcs (orl-hns) ent surgeon and rhinologist


Advanced information: sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/hearing-loss/evaluation-of-hearing-loss evaluation of hearing loss by john k. niparko, md ministry of defense sensorineural hearing loss sensorineural hearing loss deafness in adults asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss: fitting strategies by donald j. schum, phd work place integra case study i: sudden sensorineural hearing loss by: george cook, au.d., ccc-a sensorineural hearing loss chapter 177: sudden sensorineural hearing loss by william r. wilson, a. julianna gulya medlink sensorineural hearing loss by douglas j lanska md faan ms msph sensorineural hearing loss in children richard j h smith, james f bale jr, karl r white lancet 2005; 365: 879–90 sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a review of diagnosis,treatment, and prognosis by maggie kuhn, md doi: 10.1177/1084713811408349 sensorineural hearing loss last updated oct. 15, 2015



Research: gene therapy (2004) 11, s51–s56. doi:10.1038/ treatment of peripheral sensorineural hearing loss: gene therapy by m duan et al., oral vs intratympanic corticosteroid therapy for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing lossa randomized trial steven d. rauch, md et al., jama. 2011;305(20):2071-2079. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.679 early detection of sensorineural hearing loss in muckle-wells-syndrome by jasmin b. kuemmerle-deschner et al., pediatric rheumatology201513:43 doi: 10.1186/s12969-015-0041-9

kirtane m v, merchant s n, raje a r, zantye s p, shah k l. sensorineural hearing loss in chronic otitis media--a statistical evaluation. j postgrad med [serial online] 1985 [cited 2016 may 10];31:183. available from: rev. bras. otorrinolaringol. vol.72 no.4 são paulo july/aug. 2006 review article:idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: etiopathogenic aspects by paulo roberto lazarinii; ana cristina kfouri camargo dilated cardiomyopathy and sensorineural hearing loss a heritable syndrome that maps to 6q23–24 by jost schönberger, md et al., circulation.2000; 101: 1812-1818doi: 10.1161/01.cir.101.15.1812 case reports in otolaryngology
volume 2016 (2016), article id 4295601, 3 pages case report:sudden sensorineural hearing loss after orthopedic surgery under combined spinal and epidural anesthesia by ditza vilhena et al., iubmb life, 58(9): 525 – 530, september 2006 critical review:sensorineural hearing loss: potential therapies and gene targets for drug development by louisa s. tang et al, o profoburraherbert. "galina n, oburra h and aluoch jr. sensorineural hearing loss in patients with sickle cell anaemia in kenya.". in: east african medical journal, 73:471 1996. medicom; 1996. review article front. pharmacol., 02 september 2014 | immune system of the inner ear as a novel therapeutic target for sensorineural hearing loss by takayuki okano sensorineural hearing loss in hemorrhagic dengue? by bruna natália freire ribeiro et al., international journal of surgery case reports volume 8, 2015, pages 38–41 doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2014.10.057 sensorineural hearing loss after concurrent chemoradiotherapy in nasopharyngeal cancer patients by janjira petsuksiri et al., radiation oncology20116:19 doi: 10.1186/1748-717x-6-19

al sabellha rm, hager a. the value of torch screening in children with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss. indian j otol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 may 10];18:62-4. available from: bento rf, kiesewetter a, ikari ls, brito r. bone-anchored hearing aid (baha): indications, functional results, and comparison with reconstructive surgery of the ear. int. arch. otorhinolaryngol. 2012;16(3):400-405 martins mbb, lima fvf, júnior rcs, santos acg, barreto vmp, jesus epf, et al. cochlear implants: our experience and literature review. int. arch. otorhinolaryngol. 2012;16(4):476-481

aggarwal v, etinger v, orjuela af. sensorineural hearing loss in kawasaki disease. ann pediatr card [serial online] 2016 [cited 2016 may 10];9:87-9. available from:


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Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: unilateral sensorineural hearing loss by jacques peltier, md

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