Sensorineural hearing loss

Image shows man with sensorineural hearing loss in garden smiling
icon of map with pin showing location
250+
clinics across Canada
Image show icon of a doctor
No referral
needed from a doctor
icon of group of people
750,000+
satisfied clients
Image show icon of a hearing test
FREE
hearing tests

What is sensorineural hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss 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

Illustration of the inner ear
Image shows woman during hearing test

Book a free test for sensorineural hearing loss

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.

Question 1 of 1
Are you older than 55?

Step 1 of 6

What causes sensorineural hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss 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 sensorineural 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 of sensorineural hearing loss:

Image shows people talking and smiling
1. Difficulty following group conversations (especially when background noise is present)
Image shows man looking at his phone
2. Trouble understanding speech in noisy surroundings (e.g. restaurants)
Image shows woman holding her hand to her ear
3. Difficulty understanding phone conversations
Image shows the side of a woman's face
4. Sounds seem unclear or people sound like they are mumbling
Image shows woman holding her hands to her head
5. Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
Image shows couple holding each other
6. Ringing or buzzing in the ears (called tinnitus)
Image shows woman having a hearing aid placed behind her ear

How is sensorineural hearing loss treated?

Sensorineural hearing loss 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 sensorineural hearing loss 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

Sources

1. https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/50276-Common-causes-of-sensorineural-hearing-loss