Sleeping for hearing people is when they close their eyes, sleep, and dream.
Their sense organs pick up every element accordingly.
But is sleeping and dreaming the same for deaf people?
There have been several speculations about whether deaf people can do normal activities or not. One of such is a question like “Can the deaf hear in their dreams?”
Before answering this question, let’s look at what it means to be deaf.
Deafness is an impairment aided with the use of sign language. The degree of deafness varies among individuals. Below is the difference between total and partial deafness.
Table of Contents
- What are Total Deafness and Partial Deafness?
- Can Deaf People Hear in Their Dreams?
- Factors That Determine the Deaf Hearing in Their Dreams
- How the Deaf Pick Sounds in Their Dreams
What are Total Deafness and Partial Deafness?
Anacusis or total deafness is a state of complete loss of hearing due to injury, disease, certain medication, or exposure to loud noise.
Other causes are aging and excessive earwax.
On the other hand, dysacusis or partial deafness is a state of a half degree of hearing. Its causes are eardrum holes and ear infections.
It is characterized by mild symptoms such as the inability to understand speech when there is a lot of noise around and hearing muffled sounds even when the speaker is audible.
There is also unilateral deafness. It depicts normal hearing in one ear and impaired hearing in the other. Unilateral deafness is usually due to genetics.
Like every other human, deaf people have their culture, customs, and values. Thanks to technology, deaf people can communicate with their loved ones through sign languages, the internet, and apps that are free to use.
Can Deaf People Hear in Their Dreams?
Sleep is when the body slips into temporary unconsciousness and typically recurs for several hours every night. The nervous system is relatively inactive and the eyes are closed.
A dream, on the other hand, is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring involuntarily in a person’s mind during sleep.
There’s a high rate of insomnia recorded in deaf people. That is, the inability to sleep properly.
And like everyone else, they are affected by stress, hormonal imbalances, and depression.
Now, back to the question of whether deaf people hear in their dreams.
Yes, deaf people dream and they hear in their dreams. But it is largely dependent on several factors. A few of them are listed below.
Factors That Determine the Deaf Hearing in Their Dreams
The Age at Which They Became Deaf
People who are deaf from birth don’t hear in their dreams. This is because they’ve never heard a sound in their entire life.
So, when they dream, it is mostly characterized by sign languages. The characters in their dreams use sign languages to communicate with them.
On the other hand, people who became deaf at a later age, such as ages 10 and 15, hear in their dreams.
And this is because they have heard sounds before suffering hearing loss. This makes their dreams a reflection of the sounds they have earlier stored up.
The Degree of Deafness
Totally deaf people don’t hear sounds. It proves difficult for them to hear in dreams as well.
These people are deaf from birth and, therefore, have no idea what certain sounds are. But the good news is that they can imagine sounds. They can imagine how the sound of a generator would be different from that of rain.
You could liken it to onomatopoeia.
In addition, totally deaf people also focus more on visuals. They lip-read a lot and use images for interpretations.
However, partially deaf people hear in their dreams, and so do people with unilateral deafness who can hear muffled sounds. These people either became deaf at a later age or hear with one ear.
Nonetheless, some people became deaf at a later age and hear nothing in their dreams. For instance, an 88-year-old man who became deaf at age eight claims to have silent dreams. So, it differs depending on the individual.
The Language They Grew Up Learning
Deaf people grow up learning a language or even more than one language. They do so by lip-reading or through sign language. The language they are used to is what they hear when they dream.
So, if a deaf person grew up in an English-speaking environment, they’d hear English in their dreams.
In other words, partially deaf people hear the language spoken around them. They also talk in their dreams.
How the Deaf Pick Sounds in Their Dreams
Having examined the factors that determine the deaf hearing in their dreams, you must understand how the partially deaf and people with unilateral deafness pick sounds in their dreams.
Hearing aids are powered devices designed to pick sounds from the environment to the ear.
Having picked sounds in real life, the aids enable a better experience in dreams. Therefore, the deaf can easily grow accustomed to certain sounds.
There are different types of hearing aids. They are:
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
These aids are attached behind the ears and are durable. BTE aids are worn by children but are suitable for all kinds of hearing loss.
In The Ear (ITE) Aids
These are attached directly into the ear and are more visible because they are bigger and accommodate more features.
Completely-In-Canal (CIC) Aids
They fit into the ear completely. You can only know a person is wearing it if you look directly into their ears. It helps block out wind and external noise for proper hearing and focus.
For a better hearing experience, the deaf undergo implant surgeries such as cochlear implants, middle ear implants, and brain stem implants.
The purpose of the implants is similar to that of hearing aids. Telephones are attached to these implants, enabling a clearer and almost-perfect hearing system.
Hence, those who undergo these surgeries can also pick sounds in their dreams.
They Feel Sounds
Some deaf people have attested to feeling thunders and other loud and heavy sounds.
Some deaf people claim to wake up whenever there’s a loud bang because they feel sounds. Deaf people feel sounds, not only in real life but also in dreams.