Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. SNHL reduces the ability to hear faint sounds. Even when speech is loud enough to hear, it may still be unclear or muffled.
The majority of hearing difficulties result from damage to the inner ear, referred to as Sensorineural or Nerve Hearing Losses. Power tools, factories, guns, lawn mowers, hair dryers, MP3 players, surround sound and freeways are just a few ways in which we are slowly and imperceptibly eroding our hearing, lessening the sharpness and reducing the clarity of the spoken word. In addition, there are genetic factors, illnesses, and medications which can also affect our ability to hear the world around us. These problems are typically permanent in nature and do not respond to medical or surgical intervention. In time because of these difficulties, those with hearing loss often begin to withdraw from social gatherings and experience a wide variety of negative social and emotional consequences.