Sensorineural hearing loss

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What is sensorineural hearing loss?

It is the most common of the three types of hearing loss (with the other two being conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss).

This type of hearing loss implies that the tiny hair cells in the inner ear or the auditory nerve (responsible for transmitting sound to the brain) are damaged. It is most often caused by the natural aging process or exposure to loud sounds.

Hearing loss types

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Schedule a free hearing test to find out if you have sensorineural hearing loss. We can help you understand your condition better and suggest treatment options.
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What causes sensorineural hearing loss?

It occurs by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This can happen due to several causes, including:

  • Aging - Age-related hearing loss, which is also called Presbycusis, is the most common form of this type of hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud sounds, such as a one-time explosion or continuous exposure to loud sounds over time
  • Certain drugs and medications
  • Genetics or complications during birth and pregnancy

What is sudden sensorineural hearing loss?

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) - known as sudden deafness - involves an unexplained rapid loss of hearing all at once or over a couple of days. It is almost always experienced in one ear only.

In some cases, sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss can be reversed by medical treatment. If you experience sudden hearing loss, visit your doctor for medical advice or call us at 1-888-514-9515.

6 common signs of sensorinerual hearing loss

It can be difficult to identify the signs and symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss. To help you in the process, below are six common signs:

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1. Difficulty following group conversations (especially when background noise is present)
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2. Trouble understanding speech in noisy surroundings (e.g. restaurants)
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3. Difficulty understanding phone conversations
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4. Sounds seem unclear or people sound like they are mumbling
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5. Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
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6. Ringing or buzzing in the ears (called tinnitus)
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How is sensorineural hearing loss treated?

It can most often be treated with hearing aids. There are a wide variety of hearing aids available, with plenty of options to suit your needs and preferences.

We recommend that you receive treatment as early as possible since it can have unwanted side effects, such as decrease in life quality and loneliness.


Book an appointment Hearing loss treatment

Prevent hearing loss before it impacts you or a loved one

Even if you don't currently have symptoms of hearing loss, you can still be proactive in preventing it. Using hearing protection, such as ear plugs, molds or earmuffs, is one effective way to prevent hearing loss. Wearing this protective gear will help to protect your ears from especially loud sounds, such as:

  • Garden tools like lawn mowers and leaf blowers
  • Woodworking machinery
  • Loud appliances
  • Work-related exposure, including factories and construction sites
  • Snowmobiles
  • Music

Excessively loud everyday sounds, both at home and at work, can pose a risk to your hearing health, so it's a good idea to invest in hearing protection if you expect to be exposed to loud noise. Avoiding loud sounds and reducing exposure can be beneficial for your longterm hearing health.

Hearing loss



FAQs about sensorineural hearing loss