What Is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss is primarily a disease of the auditory portion of the inner ear (the cochlea).

Hair cells in the cochlea are the most important cells in the inner ear. They convert mechanical sound waves into information to be sent to the brain. Permanent hearing loss results when hair cells do not fully develop or are lost. Hair cells cannot regenerate.

It is critically important to diagnose and treat sensorineural hearing loss as quickly as possible. Hearing allows us to be aware of what is going on around us. Most importantly, hearing enables communication. The isolation from society and learning delays that occur in children with untreated hearing loss leads to developmental delays.

Hearing loss affects 28 million Americans (1 out every 10 people), and approximately 2 out of every 1,000 children are born deaf.

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