Types of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Bilateral sensorineural hearing loss – Also known as single-sided deafness or functional deafness, this condition is a profound and permanent hearing loss present in both ears. People with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss need to turn their head towards the source of sound.
Unilateral sensorineural hearing loss – It is often caused by a tumor or blood clot but sometimes occurs without any clear cause. Unilateral sensorineural hearing loss affects the ability to hear sounds on one side of the body out of a person’s ipsilateral ear. The most common causes are tinnitus, sudden deafness (acoustic trauma), Meniere’s disease, and tumors located at cerebellopontine junction-inferior olive region.
Asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss – Vestibular schwannomas and intracranial tumors can lead to asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss as their only presenting symptom. It is important that these cases be identified so they are not missed. A diagnosis of these conditions will essentially depend on MRI imaging or lumbar puncture combined with audiometry, vestibulography or electronystagmography. Asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss may occur as a late complication from the aging process, but this is rare.