I'm not sure whether perhaps this is the site to ask such a question, and I may as well ask it here, but if it is not appropriate I would like to know where to ask.

In a nutshell, I am a 21 year-old physics and mathematics student, having finished my second year of undergraduate studies. I have suffered from mild tinnitus and hyperacusis for about 7 years, but within the last year it has become very severe, and is now coupled with very severe unilateral hearing loss (right ear). It has a great impact on me emotionally (because music was a large part of my life) and is incredibly distracting for me on a daily basis. It interferes with my work, and because intellectual pursuits are truly the most important thing in my life- always have been!- I worry greatly about future prospects.

I am awaiting specialist therapy for this, so am not seeking advice of this form. However I would very much like to hear from other physicists/mathematicians/academics with hearing diasabilities: how it has impacted their research and academic life, strategies they use to cope etc. I would find it very useful to hear about people's experiences, and it would give me hope to know that there are ways of getting around this. I cannot imagine a life in which I am not actively doing research and contributing to science.

Where would be the appropriate place to ask about such a topic?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the best place to ask this is Academia.SE. They've definitely had lots of good questions along these lines in the past, too. Hope you get well soon! $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ @knzhou That definitely sounds like an answer $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ If it helps as a reference point, all of the lectures in this conference had sign-language interpreters, which I understood to be arranged for this researcher. I imagine he's had a harder time getting ahead in science than if he wasn't deaf, but by no means did it stop him from being a successful physicist and providing a number of key contributions to the field. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ Graduate school with tinnitus. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ @AccidentalFourierTransform Thank you very much for this link. It was very informative. $\endgroup$
    – Meep
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


The main site would not be an appropriate place to ask about this, for a couple of reasons: first, questions about career guidance and similar things are taken to be off topic, but also because a question just asking for people's experiences is more open-ended than what the site is meant for.

You could try checking with people at Academia Stack Exchange to see if they might consider it on topic there. I think they're more open to career guidance questions, but they may still consider it too open-ended; I'm not sure.

You could definitely ask about this in our chat room, but there are a limited number of people who participate there regularly so the chance of finding someone else with a similar experience to share is probably not that great.

For a question like this, you might actually find the best response by looking at a more traditional discussion forum outside of Stack Exchange. We have a list of other sites at which people can ask certain kinds of questions that are off topic here. It's not quite meant for what you're looking to ask, but it might give you some leads.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Also, it's important when asking questions on Academia.SE to not phrase things in terms of the undergraduate experience -- those are more likely to get closed. Phrasing a question in a way that applies to both undergrads and grads is better. $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 19:16

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