Deafblindness is the full or partial loss of both vision and hearing. It is sometimes described as ‘dual sensory loss'. The impact of deafblindness depends on the degree of hearing and vision impairment, and when the impairments occurred, for example at birth, infancy or early childhood.

There are more than 100 different causes of deafblindness. The most common causes are:

  • rubella (a contagious disease caused by a virus)
  • birth trauma
  • optic nerve atrophy
  • cataracts (a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision)
  • glaucoma (a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss)

About 50 percent of people in the deaf-blind community have Usher syndrome. This is a genetic condition where a person is born deaf or hard of hearing, or with normal hearing, and loses his or her vision later on in life from retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited, degenerative eye disease).


People with congenital deafblindness (CDB) need competent communication partners to help them to make sense of the world around them and to guide them in their contacts with other people.

Deaf-blind people communicate in many different ways determined by the nature of their condition, the age of onset, and what resources are available to them. For example, someone who grew up deaf and experienced vision loss later in life is likely to use a sign language (in a visually modified or tactile form). Others who grew up blind and later became deaf are more likely to use a tactile mode of their spoken/written language. 

Methods of communication include:

  • use of residual hearing
  • tactile signing, sign language
  • interpreting services (such as sign language interpreters or communication aides)
  • communication devices such as tellatouch

Turner syndrome, Amenorrhoea

Turner's syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects females. Usually, a female has two X chromosomes; in females with Turner's syndrome, one of these chromosomes is missing or abnormal. There are many symptoms of Turner's syndrome. Amenorrhoea (the absence of a menstrual period in females) is often associated with Turner's syndrome, as well as vision and hearing problems.

In patients with Turner syndrome is a common degree of hearing loss. Many, however, have troubles with spatial visualization such as that needed for mathematics. Vision problems are occur often.

Find more about related issues


Turner's syndrome ―sourced from Queensland Government licensed under CC BY 3.0 AU
Turner syndrome ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Amenorrhoea ―sourced from Queensland Government licensed under CC BY 3.0 AU
Deaf-Blindness ―sourced from HHSspecialeducation licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Deafblindness ―sourced from Queensland Government licensed under CC BY 3.0 AU
Deafblindness ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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