An impairment prevents someone from doing something, like how an eye injury can be an impairment to seeing. An impairment can also be any change for the worse.

People with impairments have trouble doing something. If you have a hearing impairment, you can’t hear very well. If you have a taste impairment, you can’t enjoy flavors. If you bump your head and can’t remember your name, you’re suffering a mental impairment. Some impairments are temporary. If you sprain your ankle, it will heal, but you'll have to live with the impairment for awhile. Losing your job is an impairment to your career and finances. Impairments make things more difficult.

Definitions of impairment
  1. noun
    a symptom of reduced quality or strength
    synonyms: deterioration
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    a state of deterioration in metals caused by oxidation or chemical action
    desolation, devastation
    the state of being decayed or destroyed
    decrepitude, dilapidation
    a state of deterioration due to old age or long use
    impairment resulting from long use
    ruin, ruination
    an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction
    a state or condition being blighted
    type of:
    an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying
  2. noun
    damage that results in a reduction of strength or quality
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    type of:
    damage, harm, hurt, scathe
    the act of damaging something or someone
  3. noun
    the condition of being unable to perform as a consequence of physical or mental unfitness
    “hearing impairment
    synonyms: disability, disablement, handicap
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    bandy leg, bandyleg, bow leg, bowleg, genu varum, tibia vara
    a leg bowed outward at the knee (or below the knee)
    absence of an orgasm in sexual relations
    an impairment of language (especially speech production) that is usually due to brain damage
    disability of walking
    a disability that interferes with or prevents walking
    inability to stand due to muscular incoordination
    a condition of disability resulting from the loss of one or more limbs
    hearing disorder, hearing impairment
    impairment of the sense of hearing
    impairment of the sense of smell
    vision defect, visual defect, visual disorder, visual impairment
    impairment of the sense of sight
    descensus, prolapse, prolapsus
    the slipping or falling out of place of an organ (as the uterus)
    hypesthesia, hypoesthesia
    impairment of tactile sensitivity; decrease of sensitivity
    genu valgum, knock-knee, tibia valga
    an inward slant of the thigh
    pigeon toes
    disability in which the toes are turned inward; often associated with knock-knee
    bandy legs, bow leg, bow legs
    outward curvature of the legs
    a loss (or serious disruption) of organization in some system
    an abnormally downward position of the intestines in the abdominal cavity
    partial or total loss of sight without pathology of the eye; caused by disease of optic nerve or retina or brain
    visual impairment without apparent organic pathology
    (ophthalmology) faulty refraction of light rays in the eye as in astigmatism or myopia
    visual defect in which the shape and size of an ocular image differ in the two eyes
    distorted vision in which straight lines appear curved
    absence of the natural lens of the eye (usually resulting from the removal of cataracts)
    blindness, cecity, sightlessness
    the state of being blind or lacking sight
    color blindness, color vision deficiency, colour blindness, colour vision deficiency
    genetic inability to distinguish differences in hue
    diplopia, double vision
    visual impairment in which an object is seen as two objects
    abnormal downward or back placement of the tongue
    inability to walk
    claudication, gameness, gimp, gimpiness, lameness, limping
    disability of walking due to crippling of the legs or feet
    deafness, hearing loss
    partial or complete loss of hearing
    conduction deafness, conductive hearing loss, middle-ear deafness
    hearing loss due to problems with the bones of the middle ear
    auditory hyperesthesia, hyperacusia, hyperacusis
    abnormal acuteness of hearing due to increased irritability of the sensory neural mechanism; characterized by intolerance for ordinary sound levels
    nerve deafness, sensorineural hearing loss
    hearing loss due to failure of the auditory nerve
    absence of the sense of smell (as by damage to olfactory nasal tissue or the olfactory nerve or by obstruction of the nasal passages)
    lessened sensitivity to odors
    day blindness, hemeralopia
    inability to see clearly in bright light
    hemianopia, hemianopsia
    blindness in one half of the visual field of one or both eyes
    blindness in one fourth of the visual field
    a defect of vision in which objects appear to be distorted; usually due to a defect in the retina
    moon blindness, night blindness, nyctalopia
    inability to see clearly in dim light; due to a deficiency of vitamin A or to a retinal disorder
    damage to the retina resulting from exposure of the eye to the sun without adequate protection
    detached retina, detachment of the retina, retinal detachment
    visual impairment resulting from the retina becoming separated from the choroid in the back of the eye; treated by photocoagulation
    an isolated area of diminished vision within the visual field
    tunnel vision
    visual impairment involving a loss of peripheral vision
    descensus uteri, metroptosis
    prolapse of the uterus
    nephroptosia, nephroptosis
    prolapse of the kidney
    drooping of the upper eyelid caused by muscle paralysis and weakness
    prolapse of the end of the ureter into the bladder; may obstruct urine flow
    prolapse of the urethra into the vagina
    visual defect in which objects appear to have a yellowish hue; sometimes occurs in cases of jaundice
    type of:
    softness, unfitness
    poor physical condition; being out of shape or out of condition (as from a life of ease and luxury)
  4. noun
    the act of making something futile and useless (as by routine)
    synonyms: constipation, deadening, stultification
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    type of:
    debasement, degradation
    a change to a lower state (a less respected state)
  5. noun
    the occurrence of a change for the worse
    synonyms: damage, harm
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    detriment, hurt
    a damage or loss
    deformation, distortion
    a change for the worse
    ladder, ravel, run
    a row of unravelled stitches
    a detriment or sacrifice
    warp, warping
    a moral or mental distortion
    type of:
    alteration, change, modification
    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another
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