One in every 1,000 US children is born deaf or with a hearing impairment. Some of these children go on to receive and utilize cochlear implants while others learn to lip read, use adaptive technology and hearing aids, and communicate with American Sign Language. The treatment and results are specific to the type and severity of the hearing impairment.
In addition to those born deaf or hard-of-hearing, some 20% of Americans over the age of 12 have hearing loss or damage significant enough to impair the ability to communicate. Of course, there is also an age correlation to hearing loss, with more people experiencing hearing loss as they age. Exposure to extremely loud noises can cause high-frequency hearing loss, and this happens to many people due to their work environments or participation in loud recreational activities.
Additionally, an estimated 60% of military service personnel suffer noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), tinnitus (ringing in the ear[s]), and other hearing damage during deployments.
If you have a severe hearing impairment or are profoundly deaf, your ability to communicate may be severely compromised in the event of an accident or injury. Emergency medical personnel (EMTs and ER doctors) need to know whether your inability to hear and/or speak is a new symptom or an existing condition so that they can accurately diagnose the immediate issues and provide appropriate treatment. Additionally, if you utilize adaptive technology, such as a speech application on an iPad or other touch-screen device, those around you need to know and return your device to you so that you can self-advocate. That’s why, for people who are profoundly deaf or have a severe hearing impairment, medical ID jewelry from Lauren’s Hope can make such a difference.