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Causes of Deafness

Hearing deafness is not as common as overall hearing loss. Deafness is more or less defined as the failure to hear any form of sound regardless if it’s artificially boosted or not. Hearing loss is just an overall diminished in the hearing you already have. With hearing loss, it’s mostly caused by an impaction in the ear, birth deformity, being around dangerous sound levels, obtaining some type of disease or a mixture of both. You’re still able to boost the hearing that you may have lost through a few different options. The obvious one would be some form of a hearing aid, they come in a variety of forms depending on your price point and severity of your hearing loss. If your hearing is that badly damaged, than your only option may be a cochlear implant. This is a specific surgery that involves placing an artificial implant to replace your natural cochlea. When it comes to overall deafness though, there are a few different ways this can occur. Once we understand the roots of the cause, maybe we can hopefully find a solution that can reduce the risks.

Pre-language Deafness

This form of deafness is usually diagnosed once a child is born. As the term states the individual was deemed deaf, or extremely close to it, before they could speak or even understand what speech was. They could have also been involved with some form of hearing trauma in infancy thereby permanently causing deafness to their hearing. Unfortunately the majority of those diagnosed with pre-language deafness are usually born into families with perfect hearing and there was no need or desire for them to learn sign language previously. Due to this the learning curve for these deaf children are slower than most. On the flip side of things, those that were born into families that did know how to sign have a smoother learning curve in language development. A majority of people don’t realize how important language plays into intellectually understanding social cues. This is why pre-language deaf children will not only have issues in language development, but may also feel socially isolated if not in a household that regularly integrates, utilizes sign language, and doesn’t regularly interact with other pre-language deaf children. This is why it is extremely important for parents to encourage and push their children to be more socially active so as to not experience negative results down the road. The worst case scenario is having the child unintentionally placed in a form of “limbo” where they’re not accepted by their standard hearing peers, yet not fully accepted by their deaf peers because they don’t know how to sign. As always, as a parent set your child up for success by not only have them learn sign language if necessary, but the entire family as well.

Post-Language Deafness

Seeing that pre-language deafness is becoming deaf before you learn to talk or hear others speak, post-language deafness is when the individual has learned to speak and has heard others speak. They then had lost the hearing all together by medications, disease or some sort of trauma. This may be something that can happen instantaneously as with some form of blunt force trauma or a negative side effect to certain medications. Although most post-language deafness occur over time, especially when the biggest culprit is old age. Just as with hearing loss that was talked about in the beginning part of this article, there are steps that you can take to at least hold on to the hearing that you still have. The individual’s psyche can come under duress as well seeing that they may feel alone and have to get used to accepting a new way of life without sound. Family members may have to learn new forms of communication and come to terms that their loved one cannot hear anymore.

Single-Sided Deafness (SSD)

As it states, this is a form of hearing loss that directly affects only one ear. Individuals that have this find it difficult if people attempt to carry on a conversation on their “deaf” side. Yet, when there is little no noise in their immediate background they seem to hear fine. If children are born with this condition, there may be certain speech delays.

Deafness is Not the End

Wrapping up, deafness is an unfortunate yet completely doable medical condition.With a quality support group and supportive family members it is absolutely liveable. There will always be someone out there that has it worse than you. Just understand that whether deaf at birth, while you’re older or just in one ear that you still have a life to live. No one is stopping you from completing your goals, depending on the severity of it though you may have to adapt your lifestyle to account for your hearing.