Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when the hair cells and nerves of the inner ear (cochlea) are damaged. It is generally a permanent condition unless the hearing loss fluctuates or was sudden in onset.
Designing a Sound Future for Percy
On their second night in the hospital, Meghan Carey and Sean Wilkinson of Portland, Maine, learned that their newborn baby, Percy, couldn’t hear. The year that followed was filled with tests and medical appointments, leading to a diagnosis of profound deafness.Read Percy’s story
- Difficulty hearing speech, especially in noisy environments
- Conversations are difficult to follow when two or more people are talking
- Some sounds seem overly loud in one ear
- Ringing of the ears (tinnitus)
Diagnosis and Treatment
An audiologist diagnoses SNHL after completing a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Depending on the level of hearing loss (mild to profound), the use of hearing devices can be helpful in effectively managing the condition.
Hearing device options include:
Meet Our Team
Our Hearing and Balanceteam is comprised of some of the world’s finest ear surgeons, skull base surgeons, balance disorder specialists and audiologists.
Did you know?
One third of people over 60 years old and one half of people over 85 have hearing loss.
Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging, noise exposure, conditions of the inner ear that cause dizziness, like Meniere's disease, and a severe head injury or skull fracture.
Genetic hearing loss is another common cause of hearing loss. Many hearing loss cases are hereditary and caused by gene mutations.