Upon being diagnosed with a hearing condition, many may believe that they are now classed as disabled. While hearing loss may not be considered a disability, it actually depends on the hearing loss severity. Hearing impairment is officially classed as a disability based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Social Security Regulations. You can be granted protection depending on their impairment, however, the laws that govern the classifications are not so direct. Therefore, many wonder if it is classed as a disability if you wear a hearing aid. Let's answer the question. 

How Much Is Hearing Loss Is Classed as A Disability? 

The important thing to note is under what conditions allow us to identify hearing loss as a disability. Hearing loss or hearing impairment is classed as degenerative, which means it deteriorates over time and treatment can slow down the process. So, when can hearing loss be classed as a disability? Generally, if it falls under any of the following, it is classed as a disability:

  • Unable to repeat 40% of the words in a word recognition test. 
  • A hearing threshold below 60 decibels (dB) according to bone conduction. 
  • A hearing threshold over 90 decibels (dB) in accordance with air conduction. 

If anybody falls into one of these three categories, they might be eligible for disability support for their hearing impairment. 

Is Wearing A Hearing Aid Classed as A Disability? 

Because people experience various levels of hearing impairment, and the thresholds identified above class hearing loss as a disability, the act of wearing a hearing aid does not automatically make a person disabled. The hearing tests conducted by an audiologist are performed without a hearing aid. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Regulations, wearing a hearing aid does not class you as disabled.

As hearing aids are worn to improve hearing impairments under the three thresholds set out above, wearing a hearing aid provides assistance with any form of impairment or hearing loss, which reduces any sense of disability. Therefore, you cannot be classed as being disabled or having a disability purely because you wear a hearing aid.

The Importance of Being Diagnosed with A Hearing Condition

We can think about the term disability as being a negative thing. But as we've already discussed, you can be granted some protection based on your hearing impairment and can qualify for disability benefits. But many organizations define disability based on the severity of the loss. The four levels of hearing impairment typically fall under four different categories, profound, severe, moderate and mild. These all demand a certain level of hearing aids. For most, hearing aids are worn to improve minimal hearing impairments. 

The idea is that wearing a hearing aid provides some assistance, therefore reducing or eliminating the state of disability. But the term disabled carries massive weight. Many people have different personal definitions of disability based on physical symptoms. For the vast majority of individuals, an invisible disability might not be taken seriously or ignored. Therefore, if you consider yourself to have an issue with your hearing, you should check the level of impairment to see if you need extra support. It is crucial to take time to consider your hearing condition. 

Because hearing loss is a degenerative condition without the right care, the situation could get worse. It is important that if you consider yourself to have a hearing impairment, or you already have a hearing impairment, you should check your hearing regularly so you do not require additional treatment

A Hearing Aid Will Improve Your Quality of Life

The act of wearing a hearing aid is not classed as a disability because it provides assistance, and for anybody who is categorically classed as disabled, they want the same support as anybody and wish to be treated the same as anybody else. 

While hearing impairment is classed as a disability, this doesn't mean that an individual with hearing aids needs to treat it as a disability. But what remains to be said is if anybody experiences hearing loss, a hearing aid is there to help them regain their quality of life. Hearing impairment can hinder a certain level of activities but getting a hearing test and having the condition diagnosed can be one of the best preventative measures. 

A hearing impairment is classed as a disability, but it's important to recognize that it is a condition that isn't visible. The best way to correct this issue is to put yourself in for a hearing test. If you want to learn more about Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service, you can contact us today at (920) 267-5220.