Causes

What is deafblindness?

Despite suggesting a complete sensory loss; most people that are considered to be deafblind have some residual sight and/or hearing. Deafblindness is defined by both hearing and sight loss that combined, severely impact the daily life of the individual.

You can help people you know become more deafblind aware by sharing our infographic.

Acquired deafblindness

There are many difference causes of deafblindness. The most common however is acquired deafblindness; approximately 75% of deafblind people are elderly. This is defined as a significant hearing and sight loss that happens as a part of ageing.

This can be far more severe than ‘just old age’ and the impact of a major dual sensory loss can be huge, leaving an older person feeling lonely and isolated. Take a look at this image for some facts.

Usher Syndrome

Another significant cause of deafblindness is Usher Syndrome; a genetic condition that is responsible for a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa as well as a number of cases of congenital deafblindness. Sight loss associated with Ushers is caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which is a progressive condition. In RP, there is a build up of pigment on the retina at the back of the eye.

There are at least three forms of Usher Syndrome and up to 11 genes that cause them. Each type also has separate identity issues, which can cause additional problems that worsen with progressive sight and hearing loss.

To read more about Usher Syndrome and its types, please visit this page.

General information on hearing and sight loss