Types and conditions

The impact that deafblindness has on a person will vary according to the cause, age of onset, and the skills a person has in using their residual sight and hearing.

Two women at an awareness presentationCongenital deafblindness is when people are born deafblind. 

Some people become deafblind later in life and this is called acquired deafblindness.

Many people who are deafblind have rare and varied causes of their sight and hearing loss. They may experience other disabilities and health conditions, meaning that diagnosis and the identification of sight and hearing loss are difficult. 

Causes of deafblindness include:

  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Prematurity
  • Rare syndromes, such as Usher and CHARGE
  • Illness and accidents
  • Sensory loss in old age

See our list of other causes and associated conditions.

Each person will have a unique set of needs that require specialist support.

First published: Monday 14 May 2012
Updated: Thursday 24 November 2016