About becoming late-deafened
A person who is late-deafened grew up hearing, then lost all or most of her or his hearing as an adult. Hearing loss can be caused by a disease or other illness, brain aneurysm, Meniere’s Syndrome, accident or sudden exposure to extremely loud noise. It also can be a side effect of certain medications or radiation treatment. For some people, the cause cannot be clearly identified.
See a doctor as soon as possible if you or your family or friends notice changes in your hearing. A doctor will conduct a hearing screening and examine your ears to determine the cause of your hearing loss and recommend possible solutions or technology, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, that might be beneficial.
Late-deafened adults need to find new ways to gather auditory information. Some late-deafened adults learn sign language; others continue to communicate using the spoken language they used prior to losing their hearing. Mobile technology, apps and other types of assistive technology are important communication tools.
Home modifications, smart home technology and assistive devices can also help you live safely and independently. The Assistive technology section of this website explains the many different tools and devices available today to improve your access to communication and information.
Losing your hearing as an adult is stressful. Many people with adult onset hearing loss find it helpful to work with a mental health professional who understands hearing loss. Family members are also impacted by their family member’s hearing loss. They also may benefit from mental health support. The DHHSD mental health services and referrals team can help you find qualified mental health resources in your area.
You can also connect with a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist for personal assistance and recommendations. Our contact information can be found on the bottom of every page.