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September 25, 1972

Hearing Problems

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

JAMA. 1972;221(13):1518. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200260054028

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To the Editor.—  I read with enthusiasm the EDITORIAL "Out of the Shadows and the Silence" (220:1127, 1972). It is heartening to see the medical profession express concern over the problem of hearing impairment, a disability that is so often eclipsed by life and death conditions.There were a few points that the authors neglected to mention. Although the 10 million hearing-impaired Americans may outnumber the 2.5% of those who can be considered deaf, deafness tends to overshadow the other communicative disabilities because of the dramatic and educationally significant nature of the handicap. The article should not minimize the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of the hard-ofhearing school child or the elderly person who has begun to withdraw from society due to presbycusis.The member of the diagnostic team who is most crucial to the actual identification and description of the hearing loss is the clinical audiologist, who defines