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Hearing Aids

  • By: Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Current data from United States government sources suggests that less than one in 1,000 individuals under the age of 18 are classified as deaf. As individuals age, however, they may experience hearing loss, raising the number of the “functionally deaf” to between two and four out of every 1,000 people. Individuals who hear no sound at all cannot benefit from wearing hearing aids, which are designed to amplify sounds but do not have the ability to restore hearing. For the hard of hearing, however, they may be essential. Nevertheless, the National Institutes of Health reports that only one in five Americans who could benefit from wearing hearing aids actually wear them. That number may be even higher considering the fact that some people who are ...

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