Impairments in hearing can happen in either frequency (the high or low pitch of a sound) or intensity (the volume of a sound), or both. For example, a person may not be able to hear very high-pitched noises like a whistle, or they may not be able to hear the TV unless the volume is turned up – or both. Hearing loss severity is based on how well a person can hear the frequency or intensities most often associated with speech. Severity can be described as mild, moderate, sever, or profound. Hearing loss can be congenital (occurring from the time of birth) or acquired (developing later in life after a period of normal hearing). Hearing loss can affect one or both ears – and in different degrees of severity in each ear. A loss that affects one ear is called a “unilateral” (one-sided) hearing loss. A loss that affects both ears is called a bilateral (two-sided) hearing loss.
A cochlear implant is a small, surgically implanted electronic device that can help to provide access to sound to people with severe to profound hearing loss and those who cannot hear or understand speech with hearing aids. While hearing aids make sound louder, cochlear implants directly stimulate the nerve fibers in the inner ear (cochlea). An implant does not create normal hearing; instead, under the appropriate conditions, it can give a deaf individual useful auditory understanding of speech and environmental sounds.
For people with hearing loss, hearing on the telephone is often a struggle; whether conversing with friends or family, arranging a job interview, contacting a company’s customer service department, or scheduling a medical appointment.
World Hearing Day, formally known as International Ear Care Day, is celebrated every year on March 3rd. The World Health Organization started this day in 2007 to promote better hearing health care through themes. The 2018 theme is “Hear the future” - drawing attention to the anticipated increase in the number of people with hearing loss around the world in the coming decades. It will focus on three strategies (Prevention, Identification, Treatment) to stem the rise and outline steps to ensure access to the necessary rehabilitation services and communication tools and products for people with hearing loss.
My beautiful baby is born and the feelings of joy are immense. Everything is brand new and a little overwhelming. The routine hearing screening at the hospital is performed. Wait. What? My baby needs more testing? But that doesn’t make sense! We have no history of hearing loss in the family and my baby is "healthy.” I do as suggested and schedule a full diagnostic test. The results show a permanent hearing loss. The audiologist is recommending hearing aids.
A communication disorder is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech. A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound.
The Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) has launched a new initiative beginning in February 2018. CCDHH will offer their first accredited American Sign Language interpreter workshop with a focus on medical interpreting. If well received and attended by the interpreting community, it is our hope that this will become an ongoing project with interpreter trainings provided more regularly. By creating these workshops, CCDHH hopes to increase professional development opportunities for interpreters in the greater Cleveland area. Currently, interpreters in our area in pursuit of continuing education credits are limited to on-line courses or they must travel a distance (even out of state) to obtain the credits to maintain their licensure and/or increase their knowledge.