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Empowering Solutions: The quick guide to hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 11th March 2024
Hearing Aids For Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids for Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Optimising sound and choosing the right hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss

 

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a common type of hearing impairment

Sensorineural hearing loss, which can also be referred to as nerve-related hearing loss, develops when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. It can be caused by various factors, including ageing, exposure to loud noises, genetics, or certain medical conditions.

In this article, we look at how hearing aids play a crucial role in managing sensorineural hearing loss, providing individuals with a valuable solution to enhance their listening experience and improve their overall quality of life.

 

Understanding sensorineural hearing loss and the role of hearing aids

Before looking into the specific hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss, it's important to understand the nature of this condition. SNHL occurs when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear or the auditory nerve become damaged. This damage can lead to difficulties in processing sound signals, resulting in hearing loss that often affects the ability to hear high-pitched sounds or understand speech.

There are two types of sensorineural hearing loss, these are: congenital and acquired.  Congenital sensorineural hearing loss happens at birth and acquired hearing loss happens after birth.

Hearing aids are highly successful solutions designed to amplify sounds and improve the audibility of various frequencies. While they cannot restore hearing, they can significantly enhance the wearer's ability to perceive and understand sounds, making communication more accessible and enjoyable. 

 

Symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss

  • Some sounds seem too loud in one ear
  • Difficulty following conversations with two or more people
  • Difficulty hearing within challenging background noise
  • Other people’s voices seem mumbled
  • Problems with balance or dizziness
  • Tinnitus

 

https://www.hearingaid.org.uk/heahearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss

Types of Hearing Aids for Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Plus, the key features beneficial for sensorineural hearing loss

 

What type of hearing aids support sensorineural hearing loss?

Hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss offer many benefits, enhancing auditory experiences and improving overall quality of life are but a few. The below devices amplify sounds, making speech clearer and more distinguishable.

 

BTE hearing aids (Behind-the-Ear)

These are a common and versatile option for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. These devices rest comfortably behind the ear and are connected to an earpiece or earmold that fits inside the ear canal. BTE hearing aids are suitable for various degrees of hearing loss and offer features such as directional microphones and telecoil technology.

 

ITE hearing aids (In the Ear)

These are custom-fitted devices that sit in the outer ear. They are particularly suitable for mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. ITE aids are discreet and often include essential components, including microphones and amplifiers, within a shell that fits snugly in the ear.

 

ITC and CIC hearing aids (In the Canal and Completely in the Canal)

These are small and discreet, fitting partially or entirely within the ear canal. They are suitable for mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss and offer cosmetic advantages due to their inconspicuous design. However, their compact size may limit the inclusion of certain advanced features.

 

RIC hearing aids (Receiver in Canal)

These are similar to BTE aids but feature a smaller receiver that sits directly in the ear canal. This design allows for a more open-fit style, reducing the occlusion effect and providing a more natural sound experience. RIC hearing aids are often suitable for mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss.

 

The hearing aid features that support sensorineural hearing loss

Digital Signal Processing (DSP):  Modern hearing aids use digital signal processing to analyse and adjust incoming sounds in real time. This technology allows for precise customisation, addressing specific frequency needs and reducing background noise, enhancing the clarity of speech for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.

Directional microphones:  These help wearers focus on sounds coming from a particular direction while minimising background noise. This feature is particularly beneficial in noisy environments, improving speech understanding and overall listening comfort for those with sensorineural hearing loss.

Feedback suppression:  Feedback or whistling noises can be a common concern with hearing aids. Advanced devices incorporate feedback suppression algorithms to minimise or eliminate unwanted noise, providing a more comfortable and distortion-free listening experience for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.

Telecoil (T-Coil) technology:  T-coil technology enables wearers to connect directly to compatible hearing loop systems commonly found in theatres, churches, or public spaces. This feature enhances accessibility and ensures a clearer and more direct listening experience for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.

Bluetooth connectivity:  Many modern hearing aids offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing wearers to stream audio directly from compatible devices such as smartphones, TVs, or computers. This feature enhances the overall listening experience and ensures that individuals with sensorineural hearing loss can effortlessly engage in various activities.

 

Adjusting to hearing aids for sensorineural hearing loss

While hearing aids offer significant benefits, it's essential to recognise that adjusting to these devices may take time. Individuals with sensorineural hearing loss should work closely with their audiologists to ensure proper fitting, programming, and ongoing adjustments as needed.

Patience and persistence are important during the initial adaptation period, as the brain gradually adapts to the amplified sounds provided by the hearing aids.

 

Find a local audiologist that you can trust with your sensorineural hearing loss

Seeking professional guidance from an audiologist or hearing healthcare provider is crucial for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. A comprehensive hearing assessment allows for the identification of specific hearing needs and the selection of appropriate hearing aids tailored to the individual's lifestyle and preferences.

 

Is there a cure for sensorineural hearing loss?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, however, regular follow-up appointments, treatment plans, and wearing hearing aids that are optimised for the best possible performance, by an audiologist, will greatly improve your quality of life.

 

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Sensorineural hearing loss and hearing aids

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we offer a wide range of hearing aids available on the market - such as hearing aids that can support sensorineural hearing loss.  We can support your hearing healthcare in clinic or in the comfort of your own home and with nationwide coverage, we will have an audiologist near you.

Whatever your hearing loss level, budget, or style our audiologists can help you find the perfect hearing solution for you.

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This article was written by Kimberley Bradshaw

Meet Kimberley Bradshaw , Head of Customer Content Experience

By working closely with the Hearing Aid UK audiologists, experts and advisers, she develops the online content, so that the customer's experience is the best it can be. 

Kimberley's medical representation has allowed her to focus on the importance of hearing healthcare and explore the many ways in which hearing loss and its awareness can be improved.

She has collaborated and written about hearing healthcare for several online publications.

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