Is hearing loss a disability?

In our daily life, we are highly dependent upon our core senses. We cannot have a stable problem-free life if we face difficulty in any of our senses. If the severity of such challenges is increased, it can be considered as a disability. Hearing is one of the core senses, and one can face several disadvantages when faced with difficulty. In the following article, we are going to discuss when hearing loss is considered a disability.

What is a disability?

Any condition of the body or mind that can affect the ability to perform certain daily life activities is determined as a disability. It can also possess a significant impact on interacting with one’s surroundings. Besides impacting the senses, it can also hinder the person in thinking, learning, remembering, or building social relationships. Furthermore, two people with a similar case of disability can be affected in very different ways, even may require a diverse range of needs.

According to WHO, disability contains three dimensions:

  1. Impairment in a person’s body structure, function, or mental functioning.
  2. Limitation in daily life activities, like seeing, hearing, walking, or problem-solving.
  3. Restrictions in participating in normal daily activities include engaging in social activities, working, or obtaining health care and preventive services.

Causes of Disability

Disability can be triggered due to conditions during birth and can present the symptoms later in life. It can affect the person’s cognition, mobility, vision, hearing, behavior, and other areas. It can either be genetic or due to complicacy during birth.

Various developmental conditions can become apparent in childhood, like autism can develop significant difficulties. This often triggers multiple degrees of problems for a person and is referred to as a disability.

An injury or long-standing condition can implement the symptoms of disability in a person. From vision loss, limb loss to nerve damage can be caused by such cases. A disability can either be progressive, static, or intermittent.

Problems Faced by a Person with Hearing Loss

In general, when a person faces difficulties in hearing sounds is referred to as hearing loss. It can either be caused by a genetic condition or being exposed to some kind of trauma. When the middle ear cannot deliver enough information to the brain, this condition occurs.

A person with hearing loss has problems in hearing sounds, especially in a noisy environment. Various underlying conditions may also get triggered due to hearing loss. Most importantly, hearing difficulties can isolate a person from several social conditions. It may cause a drop in self-esteem and confidence of that person and push him towards depression. Receiving education or job opportunities can significantly decrease for a person with a hearing impairment. Additionally, hearing loss can cause memory loss that can impact one’s speech and problem-solving abilities. In a nutshell, hearing loss breaks apart a person from a personal, social, and economic environment.

Can Hearing Loss be Called a Disability?

From the discussion above, it is safe to say that hearing loss is a disability. It harms a person’s ability to perform simple daily tasks, limits a person’s ability to hear, and restricts his ability to communicate. They are all the dimensions of disability. So, a person with hearing difficulty can be enlisted as a disabled person if required.

Required Treatments

Hearing loss is often an irreversible condition. Once harmed, it can almost never be repaired. But modern technology has found some ways to help hearing-impaired persons.

Digital Hearing aids can be very helpful for persons with hearing loss. It may not restore the natural healing ability of the ear but still can help in recognizing sounds and speeches even in noisy areas. It can either be discrete or can be worn as a fashion statement piece. It may take a few weeks to get adjusted to this device. However, once you adjust to it, it can give you long-lasting benefits.

Cochlear implants are another method of regaining the ability to hear. Although, one needs to be exposed under surgery to install it in the ear.

Sign language and lip reading can be helpful for people with hearing disabilities. It can help them to engage in conversations effectively. This way, the person won’t feel isolated and fall into depression.

Nowadays, many welfare societies are working to provide several additional care for people with hearing disabilities. In addition to special schools, many public schools are providing extra care for children with hearing difficulties. Many workplaces have issued certain protocols in hiring and distributing work for people with hearing impairment.

People suffering from hearing disabilities can be faced with severe impacts. Although various steps have been taken to improve their quality of life, it is still not adequate. A large number of the population is suffering from this condition. Therefore, progress can’t be achieved if they are deprived of a good quality of life. It’s time we plan how we are going to cope with this condition and walk in harmony.