Sensorineural hearing loss is the deterioration or loss of hearing, which is caused by a violation of the functions of the inner ear or the pre-collar nerve. At an easy stage of hearing loss, the threshold of hearing is higher than the norm for 30-40 dB, for a heavy stage - at 60-70 dB. An increase in the threshold of audibility at 90 dB is called deafness.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Causes
The main cause of neurosensory hearing loss is a defect in the hair (sensory-epithelial) cells of the spiral organ in the inner ear. Sometimes deafness can also be caused by a violation in the auditory center of the brain or a worsening of the conduction of the pre-collateral nerve. These pathologies can be acquired, that is, develop as a result of a craniocerebral trauma, infectious diseases or fatigue of the hearing organs, and may be congenital.
The cause of congenital dysfunction of the hearing aid can be the mother's severe infectious disease (meningitis, cytomegalovirus infection, chicken pox, mumps, measles and influenza).
In addition, there are cases of hereditary neurosensory hearing loss. The gene responsible for this pathology is inherited by the recessive type, therefore hereditary neurosensory hearing loss is more common in related marriages.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Symptoms
Sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by hearing impairment. Deterioration may occur gradually, but often there is a sudden loss of hearing. In some cases, hearing impairment may be accompanied by noise or pain in the ears. In addition, with different forms of the disease, deafness can be accompanied by indiscriminate sounds, that is, despite the fact that the patient still hears sounds, he can not identify them, unable to recognize human speech. Quite often, sensorineural hearing loss is accompanied by some vestibular disorders, for example, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Diagnosis
The diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss may be made by an ENT doctor based on the results of a hearing test. Usually studies of sound-conducting and sound-receiving systems are conducted with the aid of a tuning fork and recording of a tone threshold audiogram. In some cases, for more accurate determination of the type of hearing loss, audiometry is used in the frequency range over 8 000 Hz.
Differential diagnosis should be conducted with conductive hearing loss, which is caused by disorders in the middle ear and tympanic membrane.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Types of disease
There are two main types of sensorineural hearing loss - congenital and acquired. At the same time, there is a classification of this disease according to the degree of hearing loss. In accordance with this classification, 4 degrees of deafness are allocated:
- the first degree - raising the threshold of audibility to 26-40 dB;
- second degree - up to 41-55 dB;
- third degree - up to 56-70 dB;
- the fourth degree is up to 71-90 dB.
According to this classification, raising the hearing threshold to more than 90 dB is deafness.
There is also a separation of neurosensory hearing loss into a sudden (development within a couple of hours), acute (development for several days) and chronic (long-term progressive).
Sensorineural hearing loss - Patient's actions
When detecting symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss, namely sharp or gradual deterioration of hearing accompanied by dizziness or nausea, it is recommended to consult a specialist and undergo a comprehensive hearing test.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Treatment
Treatment of sensorineural hearing loss is performed in a specialized hospital. The scheme and duration of treatment are determined individually for each patient. However, as a rule, the common for all treatment regimens is the use of drugs that improve the blood supply to the inner ear. These are drugs such as pentoxifylline, vinpocetine, or cerebrolysin.
Also in the treatment of this disease are widely used all kinds of non-pharmacological methods - acupuncture, laseropuncture and hyperbaric oxygenation.
In addition, the method of electric stimulation of the auditory nerve by means of implantation of a special electrode into the cochlea is becoming more widespread.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Complications
The lack of treatment with neurosensory hearing loss can lead to irreversible hearing loss and, as a result, complete deafness.
Sensorineural hearing loss - Prevention
As a prophylaxis of sensorineural hearing loss, it is recommended not to be exposed to prolonged exposure to man-made noise at high volume, avoid overexertion of hearing and mechanical damage to the ears and head. Given that very often the cause of development of hearing loss are complications of viral infections, it is recommended not to run and timely to treat the primary disease. It is also recommended to avoid long-term use of drugs with high ototoxicity.