When the blind see and when the deaf hear

Does anyone here know - through direct experience or from the accounts of others - how ex-blind and ex-deaf people feel about their lack of that sense before they gained it? In other words, do people who are born blind but who have operations to give them their sight remember their periods of blindness as blackness, or as an indescribable nothingness; do people who are born deaf but who have operations to give them their hearing remember their periods of deafness as silence, or as a similarly-indescribable nothingness?

If anyone here was born without one or more their senses, and gained it/them later on, I’d love to hear about it (no pun intended!)

Well, I can’t speak to regaining my hearing, but I
can speak to getting a hearing aid. I am totally deaf
in my right ear, so I only need an aid in my left ear.
But many years ago, we tried to have an extension
go from from my right ear to my left. So, what would
happen is, this extension would hear noise and sent
it to my left ear, (good ear). What the final result was,
I was so confused. You don’t really realized how noisy
the world is if you don’t hear it. I was actually dizzy from
the noise coming in, because I couldn’t tell where the noise
was coming from and it was too much. To loud and often.
I had to take it off and I have not worn it since.
I can also say with my hearing loss, stem cell research is
the best way for me to get my hearing back. The right
wing nutcases are preventing me from possible hearing again.
I hope to be able to hear someday before I die.


how do you think beethovan felt when he couldn’t hear his music as well as everyone else?

Frustrated. But it does show music does is not an external
thing, but an internal thing. Its inside the mind. you hear the
music and you write it down.


Not exactly what I was after, but interesting nevertheless. Your experience ties in with one of things I do know about the ex-blind and ex-deaf: the former are always overjoyed when they first see, but the latter are always petrified when they first hear.

No doubt he was absolutely devastated (hence the famous letter he wrote when he found out he was irreversibly going deaf, in which he brought up the notion of suicide) but I think his spirit and his religious faith kept him going.

I had a high fever as a child that deprived me of my hearing sight and ability to speak for a couple of days. I remember everything coming back and my mother crying It was brighter and louder suddenly, very confusing. I don’t remember how it felt to be deprived or before, just the shock of after. It is just a memory now, I only know folks that are losing sight and hearing, there are a couple I might wish to go mute but, with murphy’s laws, they won’t. As my sight is changing and being an artist it is hard to know that I can only see fine details in my head, It takes a lot of work now to be able to transfer them to the wood, stone or glass. It is akin to knowing you will lose your ability to move about and there is nothing going to stop it from happening. but, at least I have warning and can adjust inside my head. Not having that time to adjust would be difficult.

my best friend was born deaf and regained his hearing, i will ask him next time i speak tohim and try and find out, watch this space.

Great; I await his comments.

ok my friend said, it was never just like, perfect silence, that he never got that, but instead there was always like a kind of ringing in his ears, and he said that the first time he could hear he was terrified, someone fulshed a toilet and it was like an explosion in his head, it was really loud and it hurt. He said he was really really scared and he covered his ears and didn’t want to hear anything at all.
does that help???

Interesting. I was expecting that he’d say either 1) there was perfect silence, 2) there was an indescribable “nothingness of sound”, or 3) there were indeterminable and meaningless sounds - number 3 it is then. This leads me to think that his brain was taking whatever came to it down the “ear wires” and translating it, and that the problem was that the ears themselves weren’t sending the right data. It would appear from this that the brain itself is designed to hear, rather than hearing being something that the ears give to it a posteriori.

Thanks for getting me this info :slight_smile:

thinking about this, and one thing I recall is,
when I hear a sound with my hearing aid, and I have
not heard it before, I have to learn to interpret it.
I hear a sound and I don’t know what it is unless I
can connect it to something. It just sounds like noise.
And I often have to ask my wife, what is that?
And she tell me, and then after that when I hear that, the same
noise again, I can tell what it is, I can interpret it now.
Hearing is done in the brain, interpreting what a noise is,
not in the ears. It sounds kinda weird, but that is the way it works.