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10.6.9 Sensori-neural deafness

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Sensori-neural deafness is loss of hearing due to disease of the cochlea or auditory division of the eighth cranial nerve. This form of deafness occurs in the inner ear and results in difficulty with sound conversion and its recognition by the brain.

Sensori-neural deafness is permanent and as a general rule, there is no medical treatment that can help.

This type of deafness may be due to:

  • ageing
  • head injuries
  • noise trauma
  • infections involving the cochlea or the nervous system
  • drugs, such as quinine, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents
  • acoustic neuroma
  • Meniere's disease
  • diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis
  • endolymphatic hydrops
  • labyrinthine membrane rupture due to head injury, barotrauma, coughing or sneezing
  • ischaemia from spasm, haemorrhage or obstruction, and
  • systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, immune complex diseases and sarcoidosis.