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Understanding Sensory Loss Essay

1740 words - 7 pages

There are many factors that can impact on an individual with sensory loss. In lots of case sensory loss is hidden from family and friends and work colleagues who are usually unaware of the person’s sensory loss. This may cause social isolation and frustration for the individual involved. This is usually down to not being able to communicate their needs effectively.
People with sensory loss do have a lot of issue surrounding communication. This is down to being unable to communicate their day to day needs and they can become very anxious and stressed due to being unable to make their needs known. A simple activity like watching television which everybody takes for granted could cause ...view middle of the document...

The term sight loss is used to describe those who are ‘blind’ and can’t see at all as well as people who are ‘partially sighted’ and might be able to see something such as shadows or hazy colour. Sight loss can mean people move around and interact with the environment by using alternative strategies which design can support. Sight loss has numerous causes relating to, accident, age, disease and dementia.
Although our eyes change when we get older, most people lose their sight due to an eye condition or disease. Age-related changes include the need for more light as the cornea becomes more opaque. There can also be changes in colour perception, a yellowing of vision, and a tendency towards long sightedness as the lens becomes thicker, stiffer, more dense and moves forward in the eye. The main causes of visual impairment in the UK are.... refractive error (31.6%), AMD (36.2%), cataract (24.5%), glaucoma (7.9%) and diabetic eye disease (2.3%). Other conditions included vascular occlusions and myopic degeneration.
In our culture many forms of communication are built around the ability to hear. Hearing loss is used to describe those who are either deaf or hard of hearing. It is important to note that people with hearing loss living in care will have a broad spectrum of hearing ability that ranges from mild to severe impairment. Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders to affect elderly people and has many causes. Hearing loss can be hereditary, or caused by disease, infection, medications, trauma or prolonged exposure to loud noise. Most people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in care homes in the UK have lost their hearing due to age.
Hearing loss progresses with age. Only 2% of young adults do not have full use of their hearing, this rises to over 55% of people over 60. The cochlea, which is the part of the ear that processes sounds for the brain to interpret, there are tiny hair cells that begin to die as we age. This means sounds are heard with less clarity.
Age-related hearing loss usually starts at the age of 40. About a third of people aged 60 complain of some degree of hearing impairment. This rises to over half of those aged 80. Most hearing loss does not dramatically change a person’s abilities for day-to-day living. The first difficulty a person with hearing loss usually experiences is the ability to hear the high-frequency sounds. This can affect the ability to hear speech or enjoy music. It can create a sensitivity to changes in the intensity of sound making loud noises such as the slamming a door may be quite distressing. Background noise is particularly problematic for those with hearing loss, as the person will find it more difficult to distinguish between it and the sounds they are trying to hear. Noise also interferes with the effectiveness of hearing aids.
Dual sensory loss or deaf blindness causes such a particular set of challenges that it is now considered...

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