Would you rather be deaf or blind?

  • Thread starter Dremmer
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  • #26
disregardthat
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I agree with arildno, I don't think everyone realize how paralyzing deafness can be. You won't be able to communicate with anyone but a few who make the effort to learn sign language.

Being blind seems a bit worse though.
 
  • #27
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Well, the question that was asked was "would you rather be blind or deaf", that means, I assume, that you were born that way. I think if you were born blind, you would rather have your hearing than vision, because that's the way it's been your whole life. And vise versa for being born deaf.
I think people would answer differently if it the question was "as an adult, would you rather suddenly become deaf or suddenly become blind?"

Blind people do amaze me with their hearing. I knew a blind girl who went out to eat with me and some friends. In the parking lot, I walked up to the car where she was, and I was the only one there, and she said my name and asked me a question. I don't know how she knew it was me who was there, but I was amazed. It's like she knew exactly where everyone was by keeping track of the sounds they make as they walk.
But at the same time, imagine how amazing the sight is of a deaf person. Their awareness of what's around them must be amazing too.
 
  • #28
disregardthat
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Their awareness of surroundings is probably not better than for a non-deaf person though.
 
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  • #29
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Their awareness of surroundings is probably not better than for a non-deaf person though.
True, but I think non-deaf people get lazy with their senses. They're in the mindset that if one of their senses fails to pick up something, one of their other senses will pick it up, and everything will work out. Deaf people know that they have to stay sharp because they have less senses to pick up danger.

That's just my hypothesis.
 
  • #30
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I would prefer to be deaf because most of the things I enjoy in life come from things that I see: books, video games, my girlfriend, wikipedia, etc.

I'd probably end up pretty depressed though because I love music and hearing things in general.
 
  • #31
disregardthat
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It's not about missing out on music and "things in general", you're missing out of vocal language.
 
  • #32
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It's not about missing out on music and "things in general", you're missing out of vocal language.
language is definitely covered by "things in general"

yes it would really suck, that's what I said :)
 
  • #33
arildno
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I would prefer to be deaf because most of the things I enjoy in life come from things that I see: books, video games, my girlfriend, wikipedia, etc.

I'd probably end up pretty depressed though because I love music and hearing things in general.
Well if you think itis more important to SEE your girlfriend, rather than being able to hold a conversation with her, I think you are in a minority..
 
  • #34
Between the two choices, I would rather be deaf... but that's because I actually suffer from some misphonia.

But really, I find discussing what disability you'd "rather have" a bit odd and perhaps offensive to those in the disabled community, who often lead pretty filled lives (ex. our son... who has multiple disabilities but certainly has many relationships and activities that give him intense enjoyment).
 
  • #35
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Well if you think itis more important to SEE your girlfriend, rather than being able to hold a conversation with her, I think you are in a minority..
I'm not saying that seeing my girlfriend is more important than talking with her... I'm just saying that since I would still be able to communicate with her even if I were deaf then I wouldn't mind too much.

I hold conversations with her all the time even though we don't actually speak
 
  • #36
OldEngr63
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This is of particular interest to me because I am becoming progressively both blind and deaf. It is a frightening prospect.

With regard to deafness, I have to say that there are compensations. I do appreciate the quietness that I enjoy, the absence of noise that most people endure all of the time. I am aware of this particularly because I experience it again if I put my hearing aids in, but I often leave them out simply for the peace and quiet I get that way.

There is no similar compensation for the approaching blindness. I can no longer drive well at night (I see halos around all bright lights and my depth perception is not nearly as good as it used to be).

So we press on, taking each day as it comes, with a little more loss in each sense every day. I encourage you to appreciate what you have, and to protect it with care; it will not last forever.
 
  • #37
Danger
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perhaps offensive to those in the disabled community
That's a very good point, which I never considered. My relatives (actually, ex-in-laws but very close to me) speak freely about their blindness and even occasionally joke about it, but that's no reason to suspect that others feel the same way.
It has been my assumption all along that essentially every PF'r has visual function to some degree, but that isn't technologically necessary to partake of the forums given text-to-speech and voice recognition software as well as Braille keyboards. Still, it's more likely that some members have have an auditory handicap.
While I don't have actual misphonia myself, high-pitched sounds irritate the hell out of me. I'm interested to know what form yours takes.

edit: That's a great post, OldEngr63. You put it up while I was composing mine, so I didn't see it until now.
 
  • #38
DaveC426913
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Well if you think itis more important to SEE your girlfriend, rather than being able to hold a conversation with her, I think you are in a minority..
But you can still communicate with her, so that's a false dichotomy.

You can still talk to her, and, even if you can't hear her, she can sign, touch or write.
 
  • #39
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This is of particular interest to me because I am becoming progressively both blind and deaf. It is a frightening prospect.

With regard to deafness, I have to say that there are compensations. I do appreciate the quietness that I enjoy, the absence of noise that most people endure all of the time. I am aware of this particularly because I experience it again if I put my hearing aids in, but I often leave them out simply for the peace and quiet I get that way.

There is no similar compensation for the approaching blindness. I can no longer drive well at night (I see halos around all bright lights and my depth perception is not nearly as good as it used to be).

So we press on, taking each day as it comes, with a little more loss in each sense every day. I encourage you to appreciate what you have, and to protect it with care; it will not last forever.
I have definitely increased my appreciation for my hearing after my dad came home from a concert one time and now has almost constant ringing in his ears. I used to be one of those kids who listened to his music all the way up all the time (and rock music at that) but now I've realized that that is extremely bad for your ears. It's just that the consequences will not appear for quite a while.

Ears are delicate things, and I appreciate them.

One time my sister had a nasty fall during a ski trip and she lost most of her peripheral vision for a few hours afterwards. The difference in her behavior was very obvious and I definitely do not want something like that happening to me.
 
  • #40
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It's interesting to see everybody's response and how it's based on their current lifestyle and what you'd have to do to maintain it given a certain sense was taken away.

I said that I'd rather be deaf than blind. This is mainly because of all of the things in my life that would need to change if I were not able to see: being able to practice the area of medicine I want rather than switching to something I can do without vision, drive, play tennis, lacrosse, ski, free running, video game, etc... pretty much everything I do for career or hobby.

Could I do all that without being able to hear, certainly! It's not like any of those things I listed above require the ability to hear. Reading lips and having simple conversations is quite easy in most settings. I'm pretty sure I could make due in pretty much every sport I play as a hobby without being able to hear. Nodding and hand signals are basically enough and then with a bit of lip reading and my ability to speak to my teammates or opponents fluently ... not sure what the big deal would be, but good luck returning a serve if you're blind.

A career in medicine is certainly possible without hearing, I imagine much easier than if you're blind. There are charts, prelim interviews/histories by nurses, lip reading, body language, computer screens, etc... this is all without mentioning the quickly growing technology of voice to text human-computer interaction.

The people who said they would rather lose their sight obviously engage in activities where their vision isn't that important, or at least they would have to undergo a bigger change in lifestyle if they were to lose their hearing vs lose their sight.

I had an extra credit assignment in a psych 101 class back when I was in college where we had to spend a day blind (complete eye/head coverings) and spend a day deaf (ear plugs + noise reducing headphones over the ear plugs).

I was much worse off without sight but my day was completely normal with the ear plugs and headphones, minus being able to talk on the phone ... it was basically just quieter, and a cashier had to ask me if I wanted a receipt two times since it took me a few seconds to read her lips and get the little hand gesture she made. I played tennis with no trouble at all in the afternoon, other than having clunky earphones on my head. My friend and I had to write a bit to each other when we ate dinner together, but even then we were able to talk kinda normally until we changed subjects. Later that night, I composed a brass quintet piece for homework in my theory/composition class with no trouble not being able to hear.

My blind experience was a bit more limiting to my youthful lifestyle. I had a lot of trouble going anywhere without assistance from my roommate. I couldn't play sports with friends. Most of the routine stuff in your house (or my case, dorm room) was fine since you know where stuff is. It just takes a lot longer to get it done since you're new to having to feel around for everything and not running into everything. Conversations with friends at dinner were still the same, the only time I missed out was when a friend showed a picture they took the night before. Even though I had to skip on a sporting activity earlier in the day, I was still able to work out in the university gym without trouble, just minor assistance from my normal workout partner ... he was still comfortable with me spotting him.

The purpose of the assignment was to realize how much we rely on either of our main, non-tactile senses to gather information and interact with our environment. It also gave us a bit more insight into the lifestyle of those without those senses and helped to understand what all you were still capable of, especially after you adapt and how much you can still experience, like losing a sense or even several isn't a death sentence, it's just a different way to interact with your environment that you need to adapt to.
 
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  • #41
Danger
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we had to spend a day blind (complete eye/head coverings) and spend a day deaf (ear plugs + noise reducing headphones over the ear plugs).
No offense, pal, but a day is not nearly long enough experientially to form a valid opinion. Try a week, and you might change your mind. I don't expect that, given your priorities as to career and recreation, but not everyone shares those.
Most of the stuff that I loved to do (and still would if health allowed) were dependent upon vision. I was an avid pilot, driver, dart player, baseball player, mechanical designer, cartoonist, useless golfer, pornography fan... you name it. I haven't driven in 10 years, for financial reasons, but hope to start again. Darts, baseball and golf are out of the question for medical reasons. For first medical and then financial reasons, I haven't flown in about 35 years.
Were I visually impaired, I could still make blueprints and cartoons with pipe cleaners. Maybe it's because of my background, but I rely very heavily upon my hearing to determine whether or not something is trying to sneak up on me. I have almost 190° of peripheral vision, but it can't compare to hearing a footstep directly behind me.
 

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