What does it mean to be deaf or hard of hearing?

You know what hearing is, but what is hearing loss? Hearing loss happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear, the nerves coming from the ears, or the hearing part of the brain. People also may use the words deaf, deafness, or hard of hearing when they’re talking about hearing loss. Someone who has hearing loss might be able to hear some sounds or nothing at all. Some kids are born with hearing loss. A hearing problem can also show up later in life.

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