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Can deaf people talk?

Yes, some deaf people can talk. Some of them use sign language and don’t use their voice. Other deaf people use their voice and sign language at the same time. Some just speak. At Mirakle we emphasise the use of Indian Sign Language (ISL) to communicate around the office.

How do people become deaf?

Loss of hearing can be caused by various factors; it can be either prenatal (from birth) or post-natal. Rubella virus (German measles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasmosis, herpes or genetic factors can cause a child to be born deaf (pre-natal). Acquired deafness (postnatal) can be caused by many things including illness, accidental injury, infection like meningitis, measles and mumps, continuous or sudden exposure to excessive noise etc.

Aging is a common cause for hearing loss. As a person grows older the ‘mechanical’ parts of the ear for e.g. the ear drum and the ossicles wears out or get damaged, or the nerves may gradually deteriorate causing gradual hearing loss.

What are various types of Deafness?

Following are the types of hearing impairment:

  • Conductive deafness:
    Occurs when sound waves are not transmitted effectively through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. This is commonly caused due to the fluid development in the middle ear. This form of deafness is also referred as Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), and ‘glue ear’ in some countries. It is often of the mild form and temporary in nature (mostly), and can be treated in most cases.
  • Sensori-neural deafness:
    Occurs when auditory nerves fails to carry sound waves to the brain primarily due to the abnormality of hair cells (functions) in cochlea. This form of deafness is commonly referred as ‘nerve deafness’. Sensori-neural deafness is permanent in nature.
  • Mixed deafness:
    Occurs when a person experiences combination of conductive and sensori-neural hearing loss.

Source: www.deafchildworldwide.info

Is sign language universal all over the world?

No. There are different sign languages for different regions. There are some standardized national sign languages. In India the educated deaf community uses Indian Sign Language (ISL), in the uk it is British Sign Language (BSL) and in America it is American Sign Language (ASL). While some words are similiar there are also a lot of differences.

Can deaf people use the phone?

Yes, they can use a phone. They can use a TTY or TTD (telephone typewriter or telecommunications device) at home or on the road.

How do hearing aids help?

Hearing aids help some deaf people hear, but they don’t work for everyone.

What is cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is an automated device that a doctor surgically embeds in the bone behind the ear.