The vast majority of cases of sensorineural hearing loss involve processes, be they genetic, aging, or due to noise or ototoxicity, which are specific to the inner ear and/or cochlear nerve and do not require any evaluation for systemic disease. In selected cases, however, an evaluation for systemic infectious or inflammatory disease is warranted. A variety of agents are currently being developed that may allow for the prevention of ototoxicity via the transtympanic administration of these drugs. Hearing aids remain the main form of rehabilitation for patients with hearing loss. Cochlear implants already offer excellent rehabilitation for those patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss, and this technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

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