Around thirty-two million people in the United States have hearing losses of some degree. Of this number, approximately two million people have hearing losses severe enough to be considered deaf. We define the word “deaf,” as either partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing (Lytle & Rovins). Throughout history, there have been many technological advances invented to aid the deaf, such as assistive devices, sign language, hearing aids and cochlear plants and mainstreaming.
Many factors contribute to the millions of Americans suffering from some form of deafness. Many Americans have been born with this problem, but there are also many others who lost their hearing throughout some point in their life. In many cases, deafness can be contributed to the passing of genes from parents to their children, and this trend continues from generation to generation. In most cases, hereditary deafness is caused by malformations of the inner ear, which may cause some form of genetic mutations (Hadadian). Some genetic disorders that cause deafness include trisomy 13 S, and lentigines syndrome. “While there are many other causes of deafness, they can be generalized somewhat according to the anatomy that is affected. Damage or malformation of the conducting parts of the ear can cause deafness and hearing loss” (Jones & Ewing).
This includes eardrum punctures and physical damage resulting from fevers and infections. Anyone who likes to sit front row at a rock concert will experience high decibel levels that can damage the hearing and cause some forms of nerve damage.
Serious forms of meningitis, mumps, and chicken pox can also cause deafness especially at an early age. One disease that affects the inner ear is known as Meniere's disease.
This is very dangerous since the inner ear is the control center for hearing and balance. Meniere’s disease will cause the person to feel dizzy and sick, while the person will experience a hissing or buzzing in either one or both ears. This disease may be caused fluid storing in the inner part of the ear (Jones & Ewing).
Technology has been increasing drastically in the last 50 years in the field of deaf studies. With new age technology, there have been devices like alerting systems, telephone, television, and listening devices that’s allowed the hearing impaired to understand their surroundings. Alerting devices include telephone signalers, paging systems, and emergency alarm systems (Moulton & Chinn).
With this new age technology a deaf person is able to use a telephone, something we take for granted. Just as cell phones today have the capability of sending text messages to one another, so do standard household phones. With this text messaging available, the hearing impaired can communicate just as any other. Technology has made it capable to transmit not just the spoken word, but also the written word through telephone lines. Now that television shows and...