Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Deafness is a broad term that refers to losing the ability to hear sounds. In medical terms, there are many specific types of deafness with a variety of causes. Hearing loss is divided by medical professionals into two general categories: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. With conductive hearing loss, sound is no longer carried normally to the inner parts of the ear. This type of hearing loss often tends to be treatable through surgery or other medical interventions. In contrast, sensorineural hearing loss involves some type of physical damage that usually cannot be fixed, meaning that the person is likely to become permanently deaf or hard of hearing. A case of sudden hearing loss could be either conductive or sensorineural in nature, depending on the originating cause. In many cases, it may not be possible to determine the cause of a sensorineural impairment with any certainty. Some individuals can even experience a mixed loss of hearing, with both sensorineural and conductive components. This condition is called mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss can result from many different kinds of injuries or illnesses. A head injury or exposure to extreme decibel levels are two causes that can lead a person to become permanently deaf. Certain diseases and medications may trigger sudden hearing loss in some individuals. Other hearing loss causes related to a sensorineural condition could include congenital issues such as hereditary deafness or an abnormally formed inner ear.
Common hearing loss causes with a conductive trigger are ear infections, certain allergies, and earwax that has become impacted. Any tumor or foreign object that is located within the ear can also result in conductive hearing loss. A perforated eardrum is likely to cause sudden hearing loss. Even having a cold could cause someone to become temporarily deaf due to fluids blocking the hearing mechanism. Although there are many potential hearing loss causes, experts agree that the condition of sudden hearing loss should be viewed as an emergency. Anyone who seems to become partially or completely deaf within the space of 2-3 days would be well advised to seek immediate treatment. In some cases, hearing loss can be reversed if diagnosed quickly.
This overview of sensorineural hearing loss only touches on the main points related to this condition, and you may be interested in further reading on this topic. It can be difficult to assess the value of medical information found on the Internet, so be certain that you are referencing trustworthy resources. Here are a few authoritative sources to get you started. To learn more about conditions that cause temporary or permanent deafness, check out these informative links related to hearing loss: