Sensorineural hearing loss results from missing or damaged sensory cells (hair cells) in the cochlea and is usually permanent. Also known as “nerve deafness”, sensorineural hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe or profound.
Mild to severe sensorineural hearing loss can often be helped with hearing aids or a middle ear implant. Cochlear implants are often a solution for severe or profound hearing loss.
Some individuals have a sensorineural hearing loss only in the high frequencies, also referred to as partial deafness. In these cases, only the hair cells at the base of the cochlea are damaged. In the inner part of the cochlea, the apex, the hair cells which are responsible for processing the low tones are still intact. Combined electric and acoustic stimulation, or EAS, was developed specifically for these cases.