Objective: This discussion paper aims to highlight factors that may be important in defining hearing loss and its consequences and to present different perspectives based on various models of disability. Method: Relevant literature was reviewed to develop the discussion. Results: Hearing is a complex function that has both cognitive and emotional aspects. A person with hearing loss may have consequences in the physical, mental and social domains. Hearing loss in the context of clinical audiology is currently defined based on type of pathology and severity. However, evidence from both clinical findings and research suggest that this may not cover all the aspects of ‘hearing loss’ as a disability. Conclusion:Defining and describing hearing loss and its consequences with a holistic approach has some clinical value particularly in the context of audiological enablement/rehabilitation.