Being Hearing impaired and what it means to those who are affected

By Kalan Thomas

Compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.1More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents.2One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.3Men are more likely than women to report having hearing loss.4About 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss. The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64. Nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.5The NIDCD estimates that approximately 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise at work or during leisure activities.6Roughly 10 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year.7Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.8As of December 2012, approximately 324,200 people worldwide have received cochlear implants. In the United States, roughly 58,000 adults and 38,000 children have received them.9Five out of 6 children experience ear infection (otitis media) by the time they are 3 years old.10


My life being hearing impaired

I was born on July 5, 2000 when my mom gave birth to me due to complications the doctors pumped my mom full of medicines. The doctors told my mom I would be deaf and blind (this is a true story by the way)  basically I would not be able to communicate. I was born through a cesarean section or c-section if you prefer. So when I was in kindergarten,I got my first hearing aid . I went to the audiologist and got tested in a sound proof room where she played abunch  of different sounds at different pitches and volumes and I failed miserably in my left ear so I got one ha in my left ear . Fast forward to third grade I got new hearing aids . I also got new ear molds but this times I go two hearing aids. When ever I go To a new school they always ask me about my hearings aids it's so freaking annoying.

Cochlear implants

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 (see figure).

An implant has the following parts:

Amicrophone,whichpicksupsoundfromthe environment.

Aspeechprocessor,whichselectsandarranges sounds picked up by the microphone.

Atransmitterandreceiver/stimulator,whichreceive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.

Anelectrodearray,whichisagroupofelectrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.

An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a useful representation of sounds in the environment and help him or her to understand speech.

How does a cochlear implant work?

A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn or relearn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone.

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