Using disability theory as a framework and social science theories of identity to strengthen the arguments, this paper explores empirically how working-age adults confront the medical diagnosis of hearing impairment. For most participants hearing impairment threatens the stability of social interaction and the construction of hearing disabled identities is seen as shaped in the interaction with the hearing impaired person‟s surroundings. In order to overcome the potential stigmatisation the „passing‟ as normal becomes predominant. For many the diagnosis provokes radical redefinitions of the self. The discursively produced categorisation and subjectivity of senescence mean that rehabilitation technologies such as hearing aids identify a particular life-style (disabled) which determines their social significance. Thus wearing a hearing aid works against the contemporary attempt to create socially ideal bodily presentations of the self, as the hearing aid is a symbolic extension of the body‟s lack of function.