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How does sensorineural hearing impairment affect my hearing?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

If you have sensorineural hearing impairment, it means that the cochlea, which is the inner ear, or your auditory nerve, which connects your inner ear to your brain, has been permanently damaged. This damage can be the result of loud noise, age, diseases, some medications, pregnancy complications, head injuries, or genetics. Often, the outer hair cells, which are supposed to turn sound vibrations into nerve impulses and send them to the auditory nerve, aren't doing their job. Sometimes, the inner hair cells or auditory nerve cause a condition where your inner ear can't transmit sound to your brain without mixing up the message (auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder). This is why people who have sensorineural hearing impairment have a difficult time making sense of conversation and the different sounds they hear.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.