The acoustic nerve, located in the internal acoustic canal, is one of 12 cranial nerves, or nerves responsible for carrying information to the brain. This nerve in particular is actually a pair of two large nerves that consist of the cochlear nerve, which is responsible for sensing sound, and the vestibular nerve, which senses equilibrium (essential for movement). Within the inner ear we find the cochlea, which is responsible for receiving and transmitting sounds, via the cochlear nerve, to the brain. The cochlea is the spiral-shaped, fluid-filled organ in the inner ear, in which is located the “organ of Corti,” which is home to 15,000-20,000 auditory nerve receptors, each with its own hair cell that is exactly what accepts and interprets sound. Damage to these hair cells by way of trauma from extremely high levels of sound is a main cause of sensorineural hearing loss, which is the most common form.
Restoring sensorineural hearing loss is still among the works of science fiction, yet contemporary medicine is still painstakingly searching for a way to reverse it.