Chronic, usually occupational, noise trauma accounts for nearly 20 percent of all cases of sensorineural hearing loss. Chronic exposure to loud, intense noise can damage the sensitive and delicate structure of hearing: the inner ear’s hair cells and the nerve fibers they contact.
At first, patients may experience difficulty understanding what people are saying in noisy environments, such as in a restaurant. Later, they may experience the inability to hear high-frequency sounds (which may include normally spoken voice tones, particularly the consonant sounds), and later, they may not be able to hear low-frequency sounds.
Our physicians check for sensorineural hearing loss with a hearing test and physical examination.