Language connects us with the world outside. Everyone has a unique language which is learnt from the environment in childhood. Language is learnt and the process begins with listening. Listening is the first step of language development. Then how do deaf people learn a language?
Sign language is the language of deaf people but it is not only one language that deaf people use. Sign language is difficult to learn for a deaf child. Newborn deaf starts learning sign language after half a year by making different signs that he sees around him. The child at starting can make wrong signs but gradually learns them.
Causes of Loss of Hearing Ability
Disease like mumps, cytomegalovirus etc. causes hearing loss.
- Head Injury
Head injuries can damage the cochlea, eardrum or nerves which cause hearing loss.
- Listening to Loud Sound
Regular listening to loud music damages membranes of the cochlea and makes you suffer from hearing loss.
- Ageing contributes to hearing loss.
- Ear Infection
Ear infection in some cases inflammation or fluid buildup. It causes temporary hearing loss.
- Damaging of the inner ear
Due to exposure to loud sound the nerve cells in the cochlea get affected and signals are not transmitted to the brain.
Deafness depends on genes and is transmitted by heredity in many cases.
Prevention of Hearing Loss
- Avoid Loud Noises
- Regular Cleaning of Ears
- Take Regular Hearing Test
Do deaf people think?
It is interesting to know that deaf people think. However, it sounds impossible to think without having a language. So how do deaf people think?
A normal person thinks in pictures, words and their combination. But if we talk about the person who was born deaf, they think in signs, pictures or see lip movement in their thoughts. Also thinking of deaf people depends on their vocal training and their level of hearing loss. There are maximum chances of thoughts appearing as words in the person who was not born deaf and had heard their language.
What do Deaf People Hear?
There is the degree of hearing loss that decides what a deaf person can hear. There are different types of degrees of hearing loss.
- Normal Hearing Loss
There is a loss of sounds that are below –10 to 15 dB HL.
- Slight Hearing Loss
The person can listen to sounds below 16 to 25 dB HL.
- Mild Hearing Loss
The person can listen to sounds below 26 to 40 dB HL. These sounds can be the rustling of leaves, dripping of water etc.
- Moderate Hearing Loss
The hearing range is 41 to 55 dB HL. The person suffering from it is unable to hear normal speech.
- Moderately severe Hearing Loss
The person can’t hear sounds below 56 to 70 dB HL.
- Severe Hearing Loss
The person hearing loss is about 90 decibels.
- Profound Hearing Loss
The persons suffering from it are unable to hear anything at all.
Voice training aims at developing auditory abilities and oral communication by different methods like hearing aids and cochlear implants. The training makes it possible to modify the voice by acting on the muscle activity of the vocal tract. It contributes to voice production by respiration, phonation and resonance.
Can a deaf person hear their thoughts? Or Can a deaf person hear their voice?
The answers to both of these questions rely on the vocal training or hearing loss of the deaf person. A deaf person can hear his thoughts and voice only if he was not born deaf. Now hearing aids are invented through which many deaf can hear.
These aids are helpful for those who have hearing loss but not for deaf persons.
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Invisible in the canal (IIC)
- Completely in the canal (CIC)
- Surgical Procedures
The treatment of the eardrum or ossicle is done by surgery.
Tubes are inserted by surgery who have a problem of repeated infections with fluid.
- Cochlear Implants
A small electronic device that improves severe or irreversible hearing loss.
Although we have progressed in the 21st-century treatments for the deaf are not discovered.