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Deaf and hard of hearing athletes have few documented related medical problems. Hearing loss has multiple causes. A portion of those with a hearing loss consider themselves part of the Deaf community, a community with a unique language and culture. Athletes may have assistive devices to enhance their ability to perceive auditory cues, whereas in deaf sport competitions, common auditory cues may be made visible. There are athletic organizations whose missions are to provide a sport and social venue specific to the deaf population. Having a better understanding and appreciation of the Deaf community will help sports medicine physicians to work more effectively with this population.

(C) 2006 American College of Sports Medicine