Two Types of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
One type of sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells. These cells are located in the cochlea, the crucial part of your inner ear that transforms sound waves into electric nerve impulses, ready for your brain to process. It also filters out any background noise. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to make sense of what we are hearing.
The cochlea looks a bit like a snail shell and is filled with fluid. When a sound wave reaches the cochlea, the vibrations within the fluid cause the tiny hair cells to also vibrate. It is these hair cells that create the all-important nerve impulses. If they are damaged at all or reduce in number, you may experience sensorineural hearing loss.
The other form of sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the nerves themselves. The auditory nerve connects the inner ear to the brain, and there are also smaller nerves located within the cochlea itself. Hearing loss due to inner nerve damage is more likely to be permanent but significant advances are being made with cochlear implants.