If a hearing loss is caused by problems with the inner ear, then it is called a sensorineural loss.
The problem may be with the cochlea or with the auditory nerve.
Sensorineural losses are, by far, the most common types of hearing loss.
With a sensorineural loss, the amount of loss usually varies with the frequency of the sound, so your audiogram will not be flat, it will slope or dip at various frequencies. The three most common patterns seen in sensorineural losses are:
If you hear "pretty well", but have trouble understanding speech (sounds like people are mumbling) or if you don't hear well in noise, then a sensorineural loss is the most likely cause.
Early hearing aids weren't very effective at helping sensorineural losses, but newer aids are very capable of amplifying frequencies you don't hear well without over amplifiying frequencies you do hear well.
Sensorineural losses can sometimes (rarely, acutally) be helped by drugs, but in most cases a hearing aid is the most effective way to hear better.
The NCSHHH web site has an exclusive 3D model of an inner ear that you can view and interact with on your computer if you would like ...Find Out How