An Overview of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss that is caused by anomalies in the hair cells of the cochlea; specifically in the organ of Corti. The loss of hearing can range from mild to total deafness. Two tests are used to determine an SNHL diagnosis: the Rinne and the Weber. The Rinne tests examines air conduction and bone conduction, while the Weber test uses a tuning fork to localize sound to the ear.

SNHL can be congenital or acquired. Congenital SNHL can be caused by a number of factors, such as congenital rubella syndrome, human Cytomegalovirus, chromosomal syndromes, or an immature cochlea. An acquired SNHL can be induced by diseases or illnesses (AIDS, chlamydia, fetal alcohol syndrome, meningitis, measles, mumps, and otosclerosis), genetics (DFNB1, Stickler syndrome, Usher syndrome, and diabetes), long-term exposure to loud noises, medications (aminoglycosides), trauma, and aging.

Treatment for SNHL include hearing aids or cochlear implants.