Deafness is a common problem. There are 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. That's one in seven of the UK population. In the UK, there are more than 30,000 deaf children and young people, and 20,000 of these are fairly deaf or very deaf. About 12,000 of them were born deaf. About one in every 1,000 children is deaf at three years old. This rises to two in every 1,000 children aged 9-16.
There are many causes of deafness, from simple things like ear infections, which can be treated and get better, to others which are harder to treat. If you have to live with your deafness then remember that hearing aid technology is the best it's ever been. Computerised digital aids are available, and some people can be helped with a special hearing aid (cochlear implant) fitted inside the ear in an operation.
Being deaf means having to learn extra communication skills to get the most out of life. There's a lot of help available through hearing specialists and on the Internet.
British Sign Language (BSL) was officially recognised by the Government in 2003. Deaf people in the UK use different ways to communicate but BSL is the most common method of signed communication. BSL is built in a completely different way to English and, like any language, has its own grammar. Some people use Sign Supported English. This is more like a kind of English with signs rather than a language.
Whatever you do, you can look forward to being able to enjoy life as much as any hearing person can - there's never been more help available than there is now.