When hearing loss is caused by problems within the inner ear, it is called sensorineural loss. The problem may be with the cochlea (sensory) or with the hearing nerve (neural). It's also sometimes incorrectly referred to as “nerve deafness.”
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. If you feel like you can hear fairly well, but have trouble understanding what people are saying, there is a good chance you are experiencing this type of hearing loss. It has many possible causes, including: exposure to loud noises, aging and certain medications.
If you have experienced hearing loss for many years, you may have been told in the past that hearing aids would not help. It’s true that early hearing aids did not do a good job with certain types of sensorineural hearing loss; however, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify just the frequency ranges where you need help, without over-amplifying the sounds that you are able to hear. In fact, hearing aids are often the only recommended treatment for this type of hearing loss, and are advisable in over 90% of cases.
To determine whether or not you may be experiencing this type of hearing loss, visit a hearing center or audiologist for a hearing evaluation.