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Deafblind Awareness Week 2024

Deafblindness is a combined sight and hearing impairment which affects over 450,000 people in the UK. This is expected to go up to over 610,000 by 2035. It is having both sight and hearing loss that affect your everyday life. Some people are born deafblind (congenital deafblindness), whilst others become deafblind later in life (acquired deafblindness)

It doesn’t always mean no sight or hearing, although for some people this is the case. Most deafblind people will still have some hearing or vision. Deafblindness affects everyone differently, the level of care and support they need will depend on the severity of their hearing and vision problems.

Deafblind Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of the people living with this condition, and learning about what life is like for those who are deafblind. It also celebrates the achievements and personal successes of people and provides support throughout communities, whilst showing that people living with sight and hearing loss often have the same interests, emotions and ambitions as those who are not deafblind.

It’s important to to recognise sight and hearing impairments in yourself and those around you. Early signs of sight loss and hearing loss can include:

  • Difficulty reading or watching TV

  • Difficulty recognising people

  • Being uncomfortable in bright and/or low lighting

  • Finding it difficult to move around in unfamiliar places or in familiar places that have changed

  • Asking people to repeat themselves or to speak louder

  • Difficulty hearing the telephone, doorbell, TV, or radio and having the volume turned up high

  • Complaining that people are mumbling or speaking too quickly

If you feel you are having issues with your sight or hearing, and things are getting worse, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible to get any treatment you need.

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