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Difference between Deaf and Hard Of Hearing

Difference between Deaf and Hard Of Hearing

Of the many types of hearing loss, deafness and hard of hearing (HoH) are probably the most commonly used terms. But what’s the difference between them? Deaf people are those who cannot hear anything, while HoH individuals have some degree of hearing loss. This means that a HoH person may be able to use sound to understand speech, whereas a deaf person would not.

What is Deaf?

The word “deaf” is used in a variety of ways, and it can be confusing to try to determine what exactly it means. In general, the term “deaf” refers to someone who has a significant hearing loss. This can be due to a variety of factors, including genetics, illness, or injury. People who are deaf may use a variety of methods to communicate, including sign language, lip reading, and written communication. While some people who are deaf consider themselves part of a distinct culture, others simply see themselves as people with hearing loss. There is no single answer to the question of what “deaf” means, as it is a complex and personal topic. However, understanding the various ways that the term is used can help to provide some clarity.

What is Hard Of Hearing?

Hard Of Hearing is a medical term used to describe individuals who have difficulty hearing. While some Hard Of Hearing individuals may be able to hear perfectly well in quiet settings, they may have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments or picking out specific sounds from background noise.

  • Hard Of Hearing individuals may also have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, such as children’s voices. In severe cases, Hard Of Hearing individuals may be completely unable to hear. Hard Of Hearing is different from deafness, which is a complete loss of hearing. Hard Of Hearing individuals usually have some residual hearing and can often benefit from hearing aids or other assistive devices.
  • Hard Of Hearing is a common condition that can occur at any age, although it is more common in older adults. There are many causes of Hard Of Hearing, including genetics, exposure to loud noise, and certain illnesses.
  • Hard Of Hearing can also be caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that connect the ear to the brain. If you think you or someone you know may be Hard Of Hearing, it is important to see a doctor or audiologist for a diagnosis. There are many effective treatments for Hard Of Hearing, and early intervention is important for optimal results.

Difference between Deaf and Hard Of Hearing

Deaf and Hard Of Hearing are both defined as having a hearing loss. Deafness is defined as a total lack of hearing, while Hard Of Hearing refers to a partial hearing loss.

  • There is a big difference between the two in terms of communication. Deaf people communicate using sign language, while Hard Of Hearing people can still communicate verbally.
  • There is also a difference in the level of hearing loss. Deaf people have a profound hearing loss, which means they cannot hear anything even with amplification. Hard Of Hearing people have a mild to severe hearing loss, which means they can still hear some sounds with amplification.
  • Deafness is also considered to be a cultural and linguistically group, while Hard Of Hearing is not. Deaf people identify themselves as part of the Deaf community and use sign language as their primary form of communication.

Hard of Hearing people may or may not identify with the Deaf community and use various forms of communication, such as speech, lipreading, or sign language.


Hearing loss comes in many different forms, from mild to profound. It’s important for those of us who can hear to have a basic understanding of the different types of hearing loss and how to communicate with people who experience them.

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