Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age in life. Some people are born with hearing loss, some people gradually lose their hearing as they age or due to an illness, and others experience hearing loss caused by overexposure to loud noises.
For any young people who have hearing loss, it can make them feel out of place. Society has ingrained the idea that hearing loss only happens to the elderly, which is not true.
The Hearing Loss Association of America has reported that two to three out of 1,000 infants are born with detectable hearing loss. One in five American teens experiences some range of hearing loss.
Don’t Assume that People are “Too Young” to Have Hearing Loss
In many instances, when others comment on the premature age of a person with hearing loss, the young person with hearing loss tends to feel inadequate. Some people with a hearing loss already experienced “imposter syndrome”, and that feeling increases because they don’t feel like they belong to the hearing community or the deaf community. Saying, “You’re too young for hearing loss” makes that person feel even more “othered”.
The mainstream culture rarely includes people who are hard of hearing. Most of us have learned about Helen Keller, a deafblind activist. We may have seen Marlee Matlin acting in a movie or TV show. Currently, there is an accurate portrayal of the deaf and hard of hearing community in the Netflix series Deaf U.
Due to the lack of representation, deafness and hearing loss are usually associated with the elderly or someone who is profoundly deaf. Most people who are hard of hearing do not fit in any of those categories, so it tends to cause a lot of misunderstandings.
Hard of Hearing People, of All Ages, Should Receive Accessibility
In many cases, the online events that have recently become very popular are usually inaccessible to anyone who has hearing loss.
Accessibility and accommodations should be available, regardless of whether it’s an event primarily for the older generation or a younger generation. Videos with closed captions should always be provided.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.