Health topics

Deafness and hearing loss

Child being examined

Hearing impairment is the inability to hear as well as someone with normal hearing. Hearing impaired people can be hard of hearing (HOH) or deaf. If a person cannot hear at all, then they have deafness.

Hearing impairment may be inherited, caused by maternal rubella or complications at birth, certain infectious diseases such as meningitis, use of ototoxic drugs, exposure to excessive noise and ageing.

Around half of all deafness and hearing impairment can be prevented if common causes were dealt with at primary health care level.