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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.
Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensorineural hearing loss. The Cochlear™ professionals site is a specialised resource centre for hearing health and other professionals.
Ticking 'Remember my selection' will make sure you are returned to this country website again the next time you visit. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, which means there is damage in both the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear. If the hearing loss is mostly conductive, speech tends to sound understandable, but only if it's loud enough and there isn't too much background noise. Depending on the degree and make-up of mixed hearing loss, it may be treated with medications, surgery, hearing aids or an implantable bone conduction hearing system. A Baha® bone conduction implant is an effective treatment for mixed hearing loss because it totally bypasses the conductive element of the hearing loss and needs only to address the sensorineural element.
A health professional can talk you through the options and help you make the most informed decision. Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss.
Snik AF, Mylanus EA, Proops DW, Wolfaardt J, Hodgetts WA, Somers T, Niparko JK, Wazen JJ, Sterkers O, Cremers CW, Tjellstrom A. There are two different types of hearing impairments, conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. A conductive hearing loss is present when the sound is not reaching the inner ear, known as the cochlea.
Dysfunction of the three small bones of the middle ear, the hammer, anvil and stapes may result in conductive hearing loss.
A sensorineural hearing loss is one resulting from dysfunction of the inner ear, the cochlea, the nerve that transmits the impulses from the cochlea to the hearing center in the brain or damage in the brain. Another common reason for hearing loss due to hair cell damage is noise-induced hearing loss.


Total or near-total sensorineural deafness may be the result of congenital malformations, head trauma, inner ear infection, genetic factors, or long history of excessive noise exposure. If there is a problem in the outer or middle part of the ears, this affects the way sound is carried, or conducted, through to the inner ear and the rest of the auditory system.
Hearing loss that results from damage to or disorders of the outer and middle ear is therefore referred to as conductive hearing loss.
The most common cause of conductive hearing loss, which mainly affects children, is otitis media. Also referred to as noise-induced hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damaged or destroyed hair cells in the inner ear that no longer transfer sound information to the brain.
Sensorineural hearing loss can rarely be corrected medically or surgically, so hearing aids are the primary solution. Since sensorineural hearing loss is typically caused by exposure to loud noises, we highly recommend the use of ear protection if you find yourself around loud noises frequently. If you have any questions about sensorineural hearing loss or hearing loss in general, please contact one of our locations to speak with an audiologist. Whether you would like to know the latest news and events or need to access to the latest professional and consumer product information - you will find it here.
You should visit your Cochlear country website for the most accurate information specific to your location. Genetic factors, overexposure to loud noise, certain medications and the normal ageing process can lead to sensorineural hearing loss.
If the hearing loss is mostly sensorineural, there may be difficulty understanding speech, even when it seems loud enough. Air conduction hearing devices must compensate for both the conductive and the sensorineural elements. The mobility of these bones, or ossicles, may be impaired for different reasons and disruption of the ossicular chain due to trauma, infection or other process may also result in hearing loss.
Chronic ear infection can result in a defective eardrum or middle ear cavity, and often in addition to the conuctive hearing loss the individual may have a sensorineural hearing impairment. However, in cases where medical or surgical intervention is not appropriate, individuals with conductive hearing loss may be managed with hearing aids, including such special devices as bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) or bone conductor hearing aids.


Hearing loss of this sort is often caused by prolonged exposure to very loud noise, though auditory pathways (or hair cells that transfer sound) in the brain are sometimes abnormal at birth, resulting in some level of hearing loss. Correctly fitted hearing aids amplify tones based on an individual’s unique sound deficiencies. Birth defects, diseases, infections, tumours or masses and head injuries are all possible causes of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing impairments are categorized by their type - conductive, sensorineural or both, by their severity, and by the age of onset. This will often interfere with speech understanding, as it is in the high frequency range that we find the consonant sounds that are most important especially in noisy surroundings.
Typically, sensorineural hearing loss reduces the ability to hear faint sounds or causes speech to sound faint or muffled, which results in the need for sound amplification. In most cases, total communication is greatly improved through the addition of hearing aids. Furthermore, a hearing impairment may exist in only one ear (unilateral) or in both ears (bilateral). Head trauma, ear infections, tumors and toxic medications such as certain strong antibiotics and chemotherapeutics are other reasons for sensorineural hearing loss. Although it is usually easily treatable, the incidence of otitis media is significantly higher among Indigenous children, for whom it represents a serious health and educational issue.
Depending on the definition it could be estimated that more than 50% of the population over the age of 70 has impaired hearing. Parents who have concerns about their child's responsiveness to sound, language development, or behaviour should talk to their doctor.



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29.04.2016 admin



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