Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss that occurs due to damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This can result in difficulty hearing sounds or speech, even if they are loud enough. Various factors can cause SNHL. This includes genetics, ageing, noise exposure, infections, and certain medications. We will discuss what you need to know about sensorineural hearing loss.

Causes of Sensorineural hearing loss

There are many causes of SNHL. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Noise exposure
  • Infections
  • Head trauma
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Meniere's disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Autoimmune disorders

Symptoms of Sensorineural hearing loss

The symptoms of SNHL can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty hearing speech, especially in noisy environments
  • Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, or hissing in the ears)
  • Reduced ability to hear high-pitched sounds
  • Difficulty understanding speech on the telephone
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the TV or radio
  • Feeling like people are mumbling when they speak
  • Difficulty hearing sounds from a distance

Diagnosis of Sensorineural hearing loss

If you suspect you have SNHL, you should see an audiologist or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. They will conduct a hearing test to determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. Some standard tests include:

  • Pure-tone audiometry
  • Speech audiometry
  • Tympanometry
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing

Treatment of Sensorineural hearing loss

There is no cure for SNHL, but several treatment options are available to improve your hearing. Some common treatments include:

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA)
  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs)
  • Communication strategies and speech therapy

Prevention of Sensorineural hearing loss

Preventing SNHL is more manageable than treating it. Some common ways to avoid SNHL include:

  • Wearing hearing protection when exposed to loud noises
  • Keeping the volume low when listening to music or watching TV
  • Taking breaks from noisy environments
  • Getting regular hearing check-ups
  • Avoiding ototoxic medications when possible


Prevention is key. You can protect your hearing by wearing hearing protection, keeping the volume low, taking breaks from noisy environments, and getting regular hearing check-ups.

Sensorineural hearing loss is common and can affect people of all ages. Various factors, including ageing, genetics, noise exposure, infections, and certain medications, can cause it. If you suspect you have SNHL, you should see an audiologist at the Listening Lab for a hearing test. Treatment options include hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHA, ALDs, and communication strategies. You may also book an appointment with our reliable audiologist to receive proper advice on treatment options. If you have any questions, please contact us through Whatsapp at 6817 5100. You may also visit any of our branches for consultation.