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Understanding Hearing Loss


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Deafness being an invisible disability is often not understood or given proper attention. One tends to underestimate the gravity of the situation since one does not see any physical manifestation of disability at a glance, thereby creating barriers, specifically in a deaf person's educational growth.
Here is a bit about Hearing Disability in very simple terms to help you understand their world.

Published in: Education
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Understanding Hearing Loss

  1. 1. What does Hearing Loss mean?
  2. 2. Is it the… • Inability to hear the ‘normal’ range of sounds? • Ability to process language visually manually? • Inadequacy of a biological ability which is measured in terms of intensity and frequency? • Type of hearing status which .1 % people have? • Threshold above 60 dB in better ear? • Hearing level that put the child at risk for limited language and speech? • A challenge for which family members are totally unprepared in 95% of the cases? • An opportunity to have one additional identity – the Deaf identity?
  3. 3. Or is it… • A communication and academic concern which needs earliest attention? • An ability to do everything else but to hear without technological support? • A condition which makes one, hearing aid dependent? • A problem with multiple solutions? • A type of state listed disability which is managed better in developed societies? • A condition that makes success and happiness depend on several environmental factors?
  4. 4. YES.......ALL responses are correct and hence add a bit to the holistic understanding of Deafness.
  5. 5. Does it sound a little too complicated?
  6. 6. Then, Let’s Simplify Rather than running behind academic definitions or fancy one liners, let us get down to some Frequently Asked Questions.
  7. 7. What does hearing loss mean? Majority of the human beings are able to hear sounds from a particular range. An individual is said to have hearing loss when he/she is unable to hear that commonly known range of sounds without any aid.
  8. 8. How is hearing loss measured?
  9. 9. What are the common types of Hearing Loss? • Conductive: When hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones. • Sensory Neural: When hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear, also known as nerve-related hearing loss. • Mixed: In this type of hearing loss, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.
  10. 10. What are the degrees of Hearing Loss? • Mild hearing loss: With a mild hearing loss difficulty will occur for soft speech and listening in background noise. • Moderate hearing loss: With a moderate hearing loss one experiences difficulty hearing conversations, especially while in background noise. The TV or radio may be turned to higher levels also in order to be heard clearly. • Moderately severe hearing loss: For a person with a moderately- severe hearing loss, clarity of speech is significantly reduced and the most difficulty will occur in groups. • Severe hearing loss: Loud speech is also difficult to hear or understand. At this point people with severe hearing loss will only hear if speech is shouted or amplified for them. • Profound hearing loss: At this level, people with profound hearing loss may have difficulty understanding even amplified speech.
  11. 11. What are the causes of Hearing Loss? • Malformation of outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear structures • Fluid in the middle ear from colds • Ear infections • Allergies • Poor Eustachian tube function • Perforated eardrum • Benign tumors • Impacted earwax • Infection in the ear canal • Foreign body in the ear • Otosclerosis
  12. 12. What is the incidence of Hearing Loss? According to the survey conducted by NSSO(2002), 291 persons per one Lakh have a hearing disability in India.
  13. 13. What is the impact of Hearing Loss on the functioning of the child? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has organized them into these four categories: • Speech/Language: Delays in the development of receptive and expressive language. • Academics: Language difficulties and reduced hearing in the classroom can contribute to reduced academic achievement. • Social functioning: Communication difficulties on the other hand, can lead to isolation and poor self-concept. • Vocational choices: The above categories may a persons limit career path.
  14. 14. Do people with Hearing Loss talk? In most of the persons with hearing loss, speech and language appear to have been impacted. But biologically speech inadequacies are not linked with hearing loss. Thus, many persons with hearing loss are able to speak. The clarity of speech depends on the age at which hearing loss occurred.
  15. 15. What is Sign Language? • Sign language is the mother tongue of many persons with hearing impairment. • Sign language is a language which uses manual communication and body language to convey meaning, as opposed to acoustically conveyed sound patterns. This can involve simultaneously combining certain standard hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions, to fluidly express a speaker's thoughts.
  16. 16. Sign Language is thus a language whereby the mode of communication used for transferring message is visual and manual. “Manual” refers to Use of Arms, hands, fingers, eyes, eyebrows, head, neck, whole body and its overall impact. WE MUST REMEMBER THAT: Signs and gestures are not the same. Signs are linguistic whereas Gestures are non-linguistic.
  17. 17. Must Know Facts about Sign Language • Sign language has grammar (rule system) like any other verbal language. • There is no single Sign language in this world. • A signer in India may not understand ASL ( American Sign Language or BSL ( British Sign Language) and vice versa. • Like any other verbal language, Sign languages have regional varieties (dialects). However communication takes place in spite of regional variations.
  18. 18. More facts • Sign languages are recognized as national languages in many countries like the USA or Sweden. On the other hand, there are many countries wherein these languages are used extensively but are not yet given the status of national languages, for example India. • Sign Language is different from Signed System and Finger spelling
  19. 19. Indian Sign Language Alphabets
  20. 20. What are Hearing aids? Hearing aids are sound-amplifying devices designed to aid people who have a hearing loss.
  21. 21. What does a hearing aid do? Most hearing aids share several similar electronic components, including • a microphone that picks up sound • amplifier circuitry that makes the sound louder • a miniature loudspeaker (receiver) that delivers the amplified sound into the ear canal • and batteries that power the electronic parts.
  22. 22. What does a hearing aid Not do? Hearing aids DO NOT help a hearing impaired person to hear like a person without hearing impairment.
  23. 23. Some technological aids do individuals with hearing loss use? Body-Level Hearing-Aid Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing-Aid In the Ear Hearing-Aid
  24. 24. What is a COCHLEAR IMPLANT A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
  25. 25. Difference between a Hearing aid and Cochlear Implant • A Cochlear Implant is very different from a Hearing aid. • Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears WHILE Cochlear implants bypasses damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve.
  26. 26. How does someone receive a Cochlear Implant Use of a cochlear implant requires both a surgical procedure and significant therapy to learn or relearn the sense of hearing. Since, not everyone performs at the same level with this device, The decision to receive an implant should involve discussions with medical specialists, including an experienced cochlear-implant surgeon.
  27. 27. What are some ways in which persons with hearing impairment communicate? 1.NON LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION: body language, gestures, pictures and facial expressions can be included in this category. 2. SUPPORTIVE TO LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION (Cannot be used independently): lip reading , finger spelling and cued speech can be included in this category. 3. LINGUISTIC BUT SECONDARY COMMUNICATION (Will come only after primary communication): reading/writing can be included in this category. 4. LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION (A must have for all human beings): sign system and sign language can be included in this category.
  28. 28. What are some ways to achieve communicative reach? • Sign Language Educational Bilingualism • Oral Language/Oralism • Sign System + Oral language (Total Communication)
  29. 29. Some Rules of Etiquette to Keep in Mind when Communicating with Persons with Hearing Disability • Face the person you are talking to. Speak clearly and slowly. Do not exaggerate facial expressions. • Do not begin a conversation with a hearing impaired person until he or she has noticed you and is prepared for it. • Shouting to a person who is deaf does not help. Feel free to use written notes. • If the person uses sign language, remember to look at him or her when speaking, regardless of whether or not an interpreter is present. • Do not pretend to understand if you do not. Repeat what you understood and ask again.
  30. 30. We would like to thank • Dr. Asmita Huddar, Principal of Hashu Advani College of Special Education for providing us with the necessary information and expertise to complete this presentation. Our other sources were: • Healthy Hearing ( treatment, loss/Test/41775-Degrees-of-hearing-loss) • Hearing and speech centre ( treatment/concerns/hearing-loss-effects-on-child-development/) • Hearing Loss Association of America( causes-and-treatment )
  31. 31. So break down the barriers of your mind and open doors to new possibilities.