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About becoming late-deafened

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.

Fact sheets

Find support for hearing loss

Connect with other people who share your experiences with hearing loss through a support group. 

Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) offers a support group for individuals who have experienced hearing loss later in life. Discussion includes strategies for adjusting to life with hearing loss, social networking and advocacy. 

Black Deaf Advocates (BDA) is a local chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), whose mission is to promote the leadership development, economic and educational opportunities, social equality, and to safeguard the general health and welfare of Black deaf and hard of hearing people. 

Hearing Loss Association of America, Twin Cities Chapter is a local chapter of a national self-help organization providing information, education, advocacy and social networking for people who are hard of hearing. 

Meniere's disease and tinnitus support groups offer support group meetings on the first Saturday of every month.

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