Hi Daphne, this is a great question. I’m going to check in with Sarada about your specific question of Akasha being effected by a loss of hearing. In the mean time, I’ve added some thoughts and resources below and will get back to you once I hear from her.
I believe it is true that the five elements are around us at all times. The human being, in Ayurveda, is formed by the unification of the five great elements and consciousness. Every material/object is made from the five elements.
One senses space through hearing, but Akasha also represents ‘the free flow of body constituents in hollow cavities, and various sounds produced inside the body’
The word ‘Akasha’ means free or open space, the sky or atmosphere.
In the body, Akasha’s organs and constituents include: Sound, auditory organ, all orifices and distinctness (bones, blood vessels, ligaments, etc) Akasha is represented in the form of embodiment and space.
“In the body, ether is expressed within the empty spaces. The hollow of the empty intestines, blood vessels, bladder, and the lungs are filled with ether. Vitiation of ether in the body results in an increase of space and a decrease in structure. The result is the destruction of tissue. Parkinson’s disease is an example of a condition where space is created in the body where once there was cellular structure. The loss of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra of the brain stem creates an increase in emptiness. A similar state is seen in the pancreas due to the destruction of islet cells.” – https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/blog/five-elements-ether-ayurveda/
The other 4 elements represent:
Vayu / Air – Various conduction and transmission activities, transportation processes
Agni / Fire – Digestive, transformation and metabolism processes, heat production
Aap / Water – Fluid balance, maintaining moisture and coldness
Prithvi / Earth – body mass, odour