What Are the Differences Between Being Deaf & Hard of Hearing?
According to a study published in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, approximately one in 20 Americans are currently deaf or hard of hearing. But what exactly is the difference between these two conditions? We answer this question below.
How Hearing Loss Is Classified
Hearing loss is classified based on severity. The classifications include:
- Slight hearing loss. This means difficulty hearing leaves rustling and whispering voices.
- Mild hearing loss. This means trouble hearing soft spoken people and needing to ask people to repeat themselves occasionally.
- Moderate hearing loss. This means being able to hear voices but not follow along with what is said very well, especially in noisy environments like Urban Fuel & Co.
- Moderately severe hearing loss. This means having trouble hearing any speech sounds without amplification.
- Severe hearing loss. This means you cannot hear speech even if someone is raising their voice.
- Profound hearing loss. This means you cannot hear speech or even very loud sounds.
What Is the Line Between Being Deaf & Hard of Hearing?
Another word that describes having profound hearing loss is being deaf. Deafness means you have little to no hearing ability. Meanwhile, being hard of hearing means you still have some hearing ability, and it describes hearing loss between slight and severe.
How Is Deafness Treated?
Some people with profound hearing loss choose to get surgically-implanted cochlear implants, which are currently the only devices powerful enough to provide adequate amplification to someone who is deaf or nearly deaf.
However, many people who are deaf find that using American Sign Language (ASL) is a more natural way to communicate. Some people who are deaf also rely on other forms of nonverbal communication, like writing or using technology, and also can lipread.
What Are Other Treatments for Hearing Loss?
The gold standard of treatment for mild to moderately severe hearing loss is hearing aids. These medical devices are worn over or in the ear and work by amplifying sounds to a level the damaged ear can detect.
Some cases of severe hearing loss can be adequately treated with hearing aids, but some people with this level of hearing loss experience better outcomes with cochlear implants. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call DeFatta Health today.