What is it?

Deafness refers to total or partial inability to hear sounds. There are four levels of deafness- mild, moderate, severe and profound. It can happen gradually or acutely. Presbycusis, or a gradual hearing loss as one ages, is very common. Hearing loss can be conductive, and involve the middle ear, sensorineural- that involves the inner ear or Mixed. Temporary hearing loss can be due to excessive earwax, but when treated, hearing fully recovers. Causes of hearing loss include damage to the inner ear, caused by exposure to loud noise, ear infection or abnormal growth or tumor in the outer or middle ear and tympanic membrane perforation. Diseases such as CMV, chicken pox, mumps, sickle cell disease, meningitis, syphilis, lyme disease and diabetes may also cause hearing loss or deafness. Risk factors for hearing loss include aging, exposure to loud noise, familial history, occupational noises, and medication such as gentamicin usage. Hearing loss in an early age can cause speech delay, and it must always be checked. Deafness can be unilateral or bilateral.

370 Alikes with Deafness

Learn from others
who are experiencing

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- One sided hearing loss

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of deafness depend on the cause and timing of the hearing loss. A deaf baby will not turn their head toward a noise, will not speak ,will not be startled by a loud noise and will not be aware of certain sounds.


Diagnosis of deafness will start with medical history, physical examination with an otoscope to check to view the ear canal, the middle ear and the eardrum. Then, an audiometer test can be performed, in which the audiologist presents words at various tones and decibel levels to determine where the ability to hear stops. Bone oscillator test finds out how well vibrations pass through the ossicles.


Treatment for deafness depends on the cause and the severity of the deafness. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be treated, the hair cells in the cochlea cannot restore their function after suffering damage, but there are strategies to improve the quality of life of these patients. Hearing aids such as behind-the-ear hearing aid, in-the-canal hearing aid, completely in the canal hearing aids. Furthermore, cochlear implants can be inserted if the eardrum and the middle ear will function correctly.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free