Is it bad to be deaf?

Hearing loss

The human hearing

Humans can perceive tones in a frequency range of 20 (low tones) and 20,000 (high tones) Hertz.

The volume at which a tone of 1,000 hertz can barely be heard in a quiet environment is between zero and ten decibels for healthy hearing. With advancing age, high-pitched tones are more difficult to perceive - but it is in these higher frequencies that the consonants that play a key role in understanding speech are located. These tones, or sound waves, pass through the ear canal and hit the eardrum, which then starts vibrating. This vibration is transmitted through the ossicles, hammer, anvil and stirrup to the cochlea. The footplate of the stapes in turn deflects the fluids (endolymph and perilymph) in the snail. The cilia inside transmit these mechanical vibrations as impulses to the auditory nerve.

Anatomy of the ear

The term “hearing loss” or “hearing impairment” encompasses various manifestations of a phenomenon in which the hearing process described above is disturbed. On this page we describe the characteristics that can be treated with a transcutaneous bone conduction hearing system.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss has damaged the outer or middle ear. Causes can be otitis media, otosclerosis, malformations such as incomplete auricles or a missing ear canal. Head injuries in which the ossicular chain has been damaged are also possible causes.


They usually range from mild to severe hearing loss. Affected people may feel like they have a "plug" in their ear. Their own voice, on the other hand, seems very loud to them.

Combined hearing loss

Here the middle or inner ear can no longer transmit sound waves. Combined hearing loss is usually a combination of conductive and sensorineural (caused by nerve damage) hearing loss.

Combined hearing loss can have several causes, e.g. damage to the middle ear, the cochlea or the auditory nerve.


They range from moderate to severe hearing loss (deafness). Noises are perceived weaker or distorted, speech can hardly be understood.

Unilateral deafness

This is total deafness in one ear. Causes are congenital malformations, tumors on the auditory nerve, head injuries or diseases. Often the cause is also unknown.


They range from severe hearing loss to complete deafness in one ear. Language is difficult or impossible to understand and noises cannot be assigned.