While it is incredibly difficult to understand exactly what it’s like to be deaf, most individuals are aware that hearing difficulty comes with a unique set of challenges. This forces those who are deaf to experience the world in an entirely different way than the rest of the population, and not always how you'd expect.
Although problems associated with a complete lack of hearing might seem obvious, there are myriad everyday, specific obstacles deaf people have to deal with, like communicating in the dark or dealing with cochlear implant prejudice. Often, these can be the hardest parts of being deaf, despite the fact that everyone else usually takes them for granted. So, let's learn about what being deaf is like, that we might be more compassionate in the future.
Seeing A New Movie At The Cinema Is Always A Losing Battle
For the deaf, going to the cinema to see a new film is even more of a pain than it is for other people. See, most movie theater chains are wholly unreliable when it comes to offering the latest movies with subtitles. Often, cinemas will only have months-old films available with subtitles. Those who need closed captions will arrive at the facility and buy their ticket, only to find that the screening has no subtitles whatsoever.
Even when movies are available with proper subtitles, they often screen at inconvenient times, like 10:30am on a Tuesday. Not exactly when you want to see the new Transformers movie.
The Deaf Are Twice As Likely To Suffer From Depression And Anxiety
Studies have found that deaf people are around twice as likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. The suggestion from most researchers is that these issues are a result of the isolation associated with deafness. Obviously, it is more difficult to communicate with others when you're hearing impaired.
To make matters even more challenging, the most effective treatment for these types of issues is usually talk therapy. Of course, doctors and therapists may not have the necessary means to effectively work with those who have hearing problems. Thus, they are prevented from giving them proper treatment.
Many People Think You Are Being Awkward By Not Getting A Cochlear Implant
The cochlear implant is a revolutionary device, surgically implanted into a person’s inner ear to help simulate the sensation of hearing. They can restore some of the sense of sound to people who were previously deaf. This has led to the erroneous belief that those who haven't received an implant are deliberately awkward, or don’t want to be cured.
This view misses several important points about the cochlear implant. First, it is most effective when done at a very early age, with its usefulness diminishing as a person leaves childhood. The procedure also carries certain risks, including infection, meningitis, and damage to the ear. This doesn’t even take into account the cultural objections many in the deaf community have to the implants. It's not a magic surgery that fixes hearing, it's a complicated and nuanced issue.
Looking After Hearing Aids Takes A Lot Of Maintenance
While hearing aids and cochlear implants have given millions of deaf people the ability to hear sounds and communicate more effectively with others, they also have to be looked after carefully. This means constant maintenance and cleaning to ensure the equipment is kept in optimal condition. Otherwise, the devices can easily fail.
It’s also important to have spare batteries when traveling or commuting, in case your device runs out of power. Lastly, the electronic devices need to be kept out of water at all times, making it difficult to use them in the rain and rendering them useless when swimming.