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Hearing Loss
Deafness Statistics
Questions from Kids about Deafness
Ear Muffs (protectors)
New Warrior Adventure Training for the Hard of Hearing


Hearing loss

Alternative names:

Decreased hearing; deafness; loss of hearing


The total or partial inability to hear sound in one or both ears.


Prevention of hearing loss is more effective than the treatment.

Minor decreases in hearing, especially of higher frequencies, are normal after age 20. Some nerve deafness (or loss of hearing) affects 1 out of 5 people by age 55. It usually comes on gradually and rarely ends in complete deafness. See hearing loss of aging. Alzheimer's disease or other neurological problems may sometimes be falsely suspected in older people because they have hearing problems.

Hearing problems may be the reason some children's speech develops slowly.

There are many causes of hearing loss. They may be grouped in several ways. One way divides causes into 2 categories: conductive loss and nerve loss. Conductive loss occurs when the three tiny bones of the ear (ossicles) fail to conduct sound to the cochlea or when the eardrum fails to vibrate in response to sound because of some mechanical problem such as fluid in the ear or disruption of the ossicles. Nerve loss occurs when the nerve is injured by physical or other means. Conductive loss is often potentially reversible; nerve loss is not.

Common causes:









Temporary (or sometimes permanent) Hearing Loss

Note: There may be other causes of hearing loss. This list is not all inclusive, and the causes are not presented in order of likelihood. The causes of this symptom can include unlikely diseases and medications. Furthermore, the causes may vary based on age and gender of the affected person, as well as on the specific characteristics of the symptom such as quality, time course, aggravating factors, relieving factors, and associated complaints. Use the Symptom Analysis option to explore the possible explanations for hearing loss, occurring alone or in combination with other problems.

Home care:

Wax build-up can frequently be flushed out of the ear (gently) with ear syringes (available in drug stores) and warm water. Wax softeners (like Cerumenex) may be needed if the wax is hard and impacted.

Care should be taken when removing foreign bodies. Unless it is easily accessible, have your health care provider remove the object. Don't use sharp instruments to remove foreign bodies.

A hearing aid can be helpful in coping with hearing loss caused by nerve damage.

Call your health care provider if:

What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:


After seeing your health care provider:

If a diagnosis was made by your health care provider related to hearing loss, you may want to note that diagnosis in your personal medical record.

Deafness Statistics

Hearing population: 267,954,764 (Est. 7/97)
Hard of hearing popluation: 10,879,622 (5.82%)
Deaf population: 917,605 (0.49%)
Most spoken langauges in the U.S.: 1. English, 2. Spanish, 3. American Sign Language (ASL)
Landmarks: American School for the Deaf, the first and oldest American school for the deaf, founded in 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut. The school was founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc.
Gallaudet University, the only dead university in the world, founded in 1857 in Washington, D.C.

Questions from Kids about Deafness

Q: How to speak to me

A: I can lipread and speak. However, at my level of hearing loss, it is very difficult for me to follow people when they speak to me. If other people speak too quickly, it is nearly impossible for me to keep up, such as a professor at a lecture. They move around, don't face me, talk too fast, and/or are too far away for me to lipread. Even during ideal conditions it is still extremely difficult for me to follow people because some sounds in speech can go as high as 5000 Hertz, well beyond my hearing limits. If you tried to talk in a deep voice, it does not help much since certain sounds are practically inaudible to me. Such sounds include the "ss" in "hiss", the "th" in "this", the "f" and "sh" in "fish". Another problem is that some words look the same on the lips (and also sound almost exactly the same). For example, it is hard for me to hear the difference between the words "bat", "mat" and "pat".

These things makes speech communications easier for me:

Sometimes it is easier for some people to use a notepad or a keyboard to communicate with me. If you have chatted with other people via the Internet by typing, you will find it very easy to communicate to me through this means!

Q: How do you communicate over the phone line?

A: There are many possible ways for me to communicate with other people over the telephone line.

Q: How do I watch television and movies?

A: I use a Closed Caption Decoder to put subtitles at the bottom of the TV screen. Closed Captions are invisible text signals that are encoded in a television or videotape signal. A lot of popular television shows and videotapes are encoded with closed captions. I have a tiny decoder that is the size of a pack of cards, which I bring along to friends' places. For more information, see the The Closed Caption FAQ! Even though I cannot understand the dialogue, I still enjoy going to the movie theatre! My favorite types of movies are science fiction, but I also like action, thrillers, adventures, comedies, and several other types of movies. Sometimes I bring a small, dim pen-flashlight so that my company can occasionally communicate essential dialogue during the movie, without disturbing surrounding movie-goers. However, my company often prefer to type small bits of movie dialogue on my battery-powered Ultratec Compact TDD, which has a backlit 80-character LCD display that can be seen in the dark.

Q: How do I wake up to go to work?

A. I have a very nice alarm clock with a built-in halogen reading lamp and a bed vibrator. When it is time for me to get up from bed, the halogen lamp flashes and the bed vibrator vibrates. The vibrator is a small block that slips under the mattress or the pillow, and connects to the alarm clock via a cable. I went through a few different brands of bed vibrator alarm clocks, and I have found this one to be the most useful and durable. They are sold by Global Assistive Devices.

Thanks to Mark Rejhon who lives in Ottawa, Canada. If you would like to ask him a question, contact him at or his web site is

More About the New Warrior Adventure Training for the Hard of Hearing

Announcing: The first ever New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) for Deaf and Hard ofHearing Men
When: November 3-5, 2006
Land of My Grandfathers near Houston, Texas

The Houston community will provide its location, manpower, and supplies needed for NWTA weekend as usual. Greg Gondron, a certified co-leader for the November NWTA weekend and the Center Director of Houston community, is the point man for this NWTA weekend.

Roger Dobitz is part of the committee that is responsible for creating an NWTA weekend for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HH) men. They are holding the first NTWA weekend, with emphasis for men who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Interpreters and Teachers of the Deaf, those having deaf family members and/or men who may know some American Sign Language (ASL). This NWTA weekend is, of course, open to ALL men.

My experience:

Let me share my story briefly about my experience with MKP. When I was first introduced to MKP, the man who sponsored me at the time was dating a woman who had some deaf male cousins. He wanted me to be initiated on a weekend to help her male cousins do the weekend at a later date. That was my initial reason for doing the weekend. Well, to say the least, I had to do my own work. I have had this dream for a weekend of Deaf/HH men ever since my initial weekend in March 1996. It is my wish to have Deaf/HH men to make the journey during a weekend to look at all aspects of their lives to see which are effective and which are not, and then to create new ways of living. I have always wanted to be a part of a men’s circle for many years. I have done extensive reading about men’s work. Now was the time to make it a reality for myself. I did not know what I was really getting into but I trusted the process.

For most of my life, as a hard-of-hearing man, since the age of two years old, and with the aid of hearing aids at the age of six, I have had to live in the hearing world with little or no help to understand what was being said around me. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to make do with lip-reading. I did not learn sign language until a later age… after I graduated from college. I was 23 years old when I first got involved in the deaf world. I have not had experience with interpreters using sign language. So, I have been able to make it known that I need to move around in the room when men speak in the years I have been involved in the ManKind Project and New Warriors. This will be my first experience of being on a NWTA weekend with other deaf men.

Logistics of NWTA weekend:

Chuck Daube from Indianapolis, IN
Greg Gondron, 713.629.1460
AJ Roupp from Washington, DC
Brian Determan from Houston, TX
Roger Dobitz, 2507 George Street, Sioux City, IA 51103-2041 or 712.258.8103 or

We will oversee its operations to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing men’s needs are met through simple accommodations and use of ASL.

How many deaf and hard of hearing men we already signed up?

4 deaf men already signed up

Two issues that prevent/inhibit deaf/HH men to sign up are airfare transportation and money. We have addressed these issues.

Airfare Transportation to Houston, Texas: The committee has secured airfare transportation for deaf and hard of hearing men, which will be paid for by a donor from the Washington, DC, area. AJ Roupp is the point man for arranging airfare transportation with the donor.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship:

The committee’s part is to ask men from the wider community to contribute money for the deaf/hh men’s scholarships who will be in dire need for help make the full pay of their tuition ($650.00).

The Houston community already secured one thousand dollars from a donor and its goal is to raise five thousand dollars to establish scholarships to help them defray the cost of attending this NWTA weekend. In addition, the Washington DC MKP community has already indicated that they have minority scholarships for them if they desire to attend this NWTA weekend in Texas. So, I am asking you those who read this message to consider giving from your heart to another man in dire need. Our deaf/hh brothers can have the experience of a safer planet, one man at a time, too.

The point men for handling this scholarship are Gondron in the Houston area and Dobitz for the other centers at large.

Our committee’s requirement for deaf and HH men is:

The committee only require that each deaf and hard of hearing man make a contribution (at least $50.00) that he feels he could afford to give as a deposit to reserve his space at this NWTA weekend. It is that simple. We want to make it possible and easy for them to do that because we want them to experience this NWTA weekend without having to worry about the cost or how to get to Texas.

How to contribute to Deaf/HH Scholarship:

If you could make a contribution to support this Deaf/HH scholarship, please write a check to “MKP Houston” and send to: Greg Gondron, Center Director, ManKind Project Houston, 6950 W. 43rd Street, Houston, TX 77092-4497 Write in memo line to indicate where the money should be directed.

New Warrior Adventure Training for the Hard of Hearing


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Deafness has left me acutely aware of both the duplicity that language is capable of and the many expressions the body cannot hide. - Terry Galloway

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