What is Deafness?
Deafness is defined as having partial or total hearing loss. According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people or 5% of the world’s population suffer from disabling hearing loss.
A person with normal hearing should have a hearing threshold of 25 decibels or higher in both ears. Someone with hearing loss is anyone who has a lower hearing threshold. Hearing loss can affect only one or both ears and can range from mild to profound loss of hearing.
People who are “hard of hearing” are those people with mild to severe hearing loss. But these cases can still be assisted by hearing aids or transplants. People who are considered “deaf” are those who can only hear very little or none at all. People who are deaf usually rely on sign language to communicate.
Hearing loss can range from:
- Mild: If you suffer from mild hearing loss then you will be able to hear some conversational sound but may have difficulty hearing soft sounds like whispers.
- Moderate: If you suffer from moderate hearing loss, you will only be able to hear very little from a person talking at normal volume.
- Severe: If you suffer from severe hearing loss then you’ll only be able to hear a few loud noises.
- Profound: If you suffer from profound hearing loss will only be able to hear very loud sounds.
Types of Deafness
Hearing loss or deafness can be caused by a variety of factors. Common types of deafness or hearing loss includes:
- Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of loss of hearing is characterized by sounds not being able to reach the fine bones within the ear. Conductive hearing loss can usually be reversed through medication or surgery.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that is often permanent and can only be remedied by the use of hearing aids. It frequently results from damage to the parts within the ear.
- Mixed Hearing Loss: If a person suffers from mixed hearing loss, they are suffering from both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss brought about by damage to the outer, middle, and inner ear.
- Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder: When a person has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), sound that travels into the ear canal isn’t recognized by the brain.