What is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

90% of all hearing loss is sensorineural (pronounced “sensory-neural”), which is hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the nerve pathway from the inner ear to the brain.  Below are the most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss.

  • Aging: As you age, hearing loss is pretty much inevitable.
  • Noise Exposure: Firearms, heavy machinery, music… if it hurts your ears, it’s probably hurting your hearing.
  • Head Trauma: Falls, concussions, sports injuries… when your head gets jolted, your hearing “system” can suffer.
  • Virus or Disease: Diseases that spike fevers, like measles, meningitis, and mumps, can lead to hearing loss.
  • Genetics: Good looks and goofy jokes aren’t the only things moms and dads pass down.
  • Ototoxicity: Believe it or not, medications like aspirin, certain antibiotics, and some anti-cancer drugs can cause hearing loss.

If you have sensorineural hearing loss – no matter the cause – there is a good chance you can benefit from wearing hearing aids.  Call one of our offices to schedule an appointment today. Together we will improve your quality of life by finding the hearing aid that will work best with your budget and lifestyle.

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

With the known side effects of untreated hearing loss ranging from increase ind ementia, depressiona, and auditory deprivation there is now even more evidence to suggest you have a conversation with your patient about their hearing. The American Diabetes Association now lists hearing loss as a co-morbd condition in their new 2013 Standards of Care.

Those with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss. This hearing loss is sensorineural which is permanent and may be in the low or high frequencies. Whereas, the medical community has been very diligent in addressing the side effects in the forms of podiatry, and ophthalmology, the conversation regarding impact on the auditory system has remained a very small one.

I know from meeting with some of you in your offices that you have begun to see this correlation. I will refer you to http://www.ncqa.org/Programs/Recognition/DiabetesRecognitionProgramDRP.aspx for further information. Hopefully, making this part of your assessment will alleviate the difficulty of broaching this conversation with your patient.

My goal and the goal of the American Academy of Audiology is that a complete hearing evaluation become part of the screening and maintenance protocols in place for the treatment and monitoring of your diabetes patients. Remember the earlier I can diagnose and treat your patient with sensorineural hearing loss the less audiotory deprivation occurs and the more successful I can be for your patient.

Please allow for Audiology to become part of your routine care when addressing your diabetes patients. I look forward to this continued conversation as more research becomes available. Dr. Bzdok and I appreciate you allowing us to participate in the care of your patient. Our goal is to bring people together through better hearing. For your patient convenience we now offer two locations!


Tina Jessee, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology