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The consequences of hearing loss

Hearing loss is an invisible disability that can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life.

This page aims to provide you with an overview of the common consequences of hearing loss and the solutions available to improve the quality of life of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

1,5 billions

The number of hearing-impaired people in the world

1 of 4

The number of French people suffering from hearing loss


The percentage of people with hearing loss who are fitted with hearing aids

Hearing loss causes communication difficulties

groupe de personnes autour d'une table pour un repas

Hearing loss often leads to communication problems, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the degree of loss.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing often find it difficult to understand conversations, follow courses or take part in meetings. Noisy situations, such as communicating in the street or around a table in a restaurant, are all occasions when communication is difficult.

This can lead to frustration and feelings of isolation.

However, solutions do exist to facilitate communication, such as the use of sign language, hearing aids, cochlear implants or assistive listening systems, but unfortunately none of these solutions is perfect, and limitations do exist.

Hearing loss has an impact on education

Hearing loss can have an impact on the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and young people.

Hearing difficulties can hamper their ability to follow lessons, understand teachers and interact with their peers.

This can affect their academic, social and emotional development, and sometimes even complicate language learning for very young children already affected by deafness.

Adaptation measures, such as classrooms equipped with hearing aids and support from professionals, can help overcome these obstacles and enable good development despite this handicap.

des enfants dessinent autour d'une table avec des crayons de couleur

Deafness can be a barrier to employment

deux femmes professionnelles se serrent la main

People who are deaf or hard of hearing may encounter obstacles when seeking employment or advancing in their careers.

Communication barriers can limit professional opportunities and make interactions with colleagues and customers more complex. Some workplaces are also difficult to access for someone with this invisible disability, and employers are sometimes concerned about something they don’t understand.

However, equal opportunities legislation and the use of adapted technologies, such as telephones with sound amplification or interpreting services, as well as awareness-raising among employers, are helping to improve access to employment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Hearing loss can lead to social isolation

Unfortunately, hearing loss can lead to feelings of social isolation.

Communication difficulties can make social interaction difficult, leading to reduced interaction with friends, family, colleagues…

This can have a negative impact on the emotional and mental well-being of deaf and hard-of-hearing people, who feel alone and left to fend for themselves. There can also be a sense of frustration, as not understanding or not being able to make oneself understood is morally very difficult.

The use of technology, interpretation services, participation in support groups and involvement in activities can help combat this isolation.

une femme est assise sur une balançoire, seule, et semble triste

Hearing loss has an impact on personal safety

une femme traverse au passage piéton

Deaf and hard-of-hearing people can easily be confronted with safety risks.

Because of their hearing loss, they may have difficulty hearing warning signals, such as sirens, horns or fire alarms, or a vehicle approaching from behind, for example.

This can compromise their ability to react accordingly.

In addition to hearing aids, it’s important to provide visual warning devices, such as flashing alarms, and to make family and friends aware of the person’s specific safety needs.

While hearing loss can have a major impact on daily life, it is not inevitable.

There are solutions and technologies available to improve the quality of life of deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

It is also crucial to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and to promote inclusion and accessibility.

Hearing loss is...
  • an invisible disability
  • a daily inconvenience

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