Health Library
Sensorineural Hearing Loss

What Is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by a problem in the inner ear or auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is permanent. The amount of loss can be slight to profound. In some cases, the hearing loss may get worse over time. Sensorineural hearing loss can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (brought on by illness, injury, medications, or noise).

Some of the common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Genetic or hereditary factors
  • Related to a diagnosed syndrome
  • Illness or Infections
  • Head injury
  • Noise exposure
  • Medication that is known to cause hearing loss
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Malformation of the inner ear

Amplification may be recommended depending on the degree of hearing loss. Treatment may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, and / or FM systems.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss?

  • You may notice your child:
  • Is behind in talking or doesn’t talk clearly
  • Often asks others to repeat themselves, asks, “huh?” or “what?” or says they don’t hear you
  • Listens to electronics at very loud volumes
  • Has frequent ear infections
  • Speaks loudly all the time
  • Does not respond to their name, speech, or loud sounds
  • Becomes frustrated when trying to listen in background noise
  • Is always distracted
  • Prefers one ear over another, or complains they can only hear out of their “good ear”

Last Updated 09/2021

Reviewed By Virginia Bolster, AuD

Who treats this.

The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric audiology programs in the nation. Early intervention and active collaboration with your family can change the outcome for your child with a hearing problem.

Contact us.