What Do Deaf People Hear?

You may be curious if deaf people can hear anything, probably because it’s something you have not experienced. People can be deaf for various reasons, including genetic, medical conditions, and auditory damage. For people with mild hearing loss, they can hear plenty, from speech to everyday noises.

They may struggle to pick up exact words and sounds from further away. People with relatively bad hearing may struggle to understand words and not hear sounds like the phone or doorbells.

However, people who are severely or profoundly deaf may only hear loud sounds from vibrations, and they may distinguish between different sounds. If deaf people have assistive devices, they may be able to hear more. 

Deaf people primarily hear muffles, vibrations, and humming sounds. They can identify low-frequency sounds and can differentiate sounds by vibrations in the ground and their body. 

What Assistive Technology Is There for Deaf People? 

There is assistive technology for hard-of-hearing people, including special doorbells, smoke alarms, baby monitors, and phones. These everyday devices are designed in mind for people with hearing difficulties to live their lives with ease. 

What Types of Medical Implants are there for Deaf People? 

There are a variety of assistive surgical devices for people with hearing difficulties. Most of these devices are for people with severe hearing loss or people who are registered as deaf. These devices include bone-anchoring hearing aids, auditory brainstem implants, middle ear implants, and cochlear implants.

The cochlear implant works by picking up sound and converting it into a digital code that the person receives as a sound they can hear. The implant works by surgically inserting an electrode into the inner part of the ear (cochlear). The electrodes stimulate the cochlear to produce sounds to a realistic level for people with moderate hearing loss. Unlike hearing aids, the bone anchoring hearing aid is a surgically implanted device.

They treat hearing loss by bone conduction of sound waves and vibrations to the inner ear. Regular hearing aids amplify acoustic sounds that come into the ear canal. The bone-anchored hearing aid sends sound directly to the inner ear through the bone.

They are seen as beneficial because they bypass the middle ear and ear canal but instead, the sound goes straight into the inner ear, proving better for people with severe hearing difficulties. The auditory brainstem implant is an electronic device intended to restore some hearing and sensation. Part of it is surgically implanted under the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem.

This is the electrode and the receiver-stimulator. The other part of the device is external and is worn behind the ear to transmit speech and sound into the brainstem. This part is known as the speech processor. The middle ear implant is a newer hearing implant and is good for medical hearing loss from physical issues.

The device has an outer part worn behind the ear that picks up sound and an inner part underneath the skin in the middle inner part of the ear. This will send signals and sounds directly to this part of the ear, making it a good device for those with moderate hearing loss. 

What Do Deaf People Hear in their Heads?

People who are deaf may have an internal monologue in their head, but it has been said it is present without a voice. This may be hard for those who can hear to imagine. Most deaf people don’t have an internal monologue, but they visualize words in sign language within their head.

An inner voice has nothing to do with auditory senses but instead the brain. This is why some deaf people may have an internal voice because it comes from the brain’s signals rather than the ears. 

Why Can’t Some Deaf People Talk? 

Some people who have always been deaf may have never heard normal speech and sounds, hence why they are not able to vocalize properly. Another factor is the fact that they cannot hear what they are saying.

This will impact how they vocalize, and it can sound slurred and out of sync because they cannot listen to themselves. 

What Does It Sound Like To A Deaf Person When They Talk? 

When deaf people talk, it can be heard as monotone as they have never learned natural infections in the voice due to not being able to hear.

When deaf people talk, they can hear vibrations and hum when they make different sounds. 

Can Deaf People Listen to Music at All? 

Because deaf people can pick up vibrations, they can in some way listen to music. Depending on how deaf somebody is, they may hear bass and percussive noises by picking it up through vibrations. The way they interact with music differs from people who are not hard of hearing; they tend to feel rather than hear. 

Why Are Some People Deaf? 

Some people are born deaf, and some become deaf by gradual hearing loss. Hearing loss is caused by the dysfunction of the inner ear, brain damage, the cochlea, or the auditory nerve. This can be due to ear infections, diseases, and general ear damage.

People who are born deaf may be deaf due to problems when they are in the womb or an infant. It can be caused by infections such as cytomegalovirus, rubella, or toxoplasmosis. These infections will damage a child’s hearing ability before birth, leading them to be deaf. Medicines can also cause deafness. These medicines are called ototoxic drugs, and they can damage a baby’s hearing abilities before they are born. 

Deafness is a spectrum, and those who have minor hearing loss can pick up most sounds but may not pick up sounds with fewer decibels. People with moderate hearing loss may not pick up exact speech and general noises but learn to hear through vibration and frequencies. Deaf people can usually identify loud noises and banging but may not be able to hear anything else.

Hearing devices have allowed people who are fully deaf to pick up more sounds than they ordinarily could, and they can translate sounds into their brains through an electrode. This has made a massive impact on people who are hard of hearing as they can live a somewhat everyday life along with the assistive devices that have been created for deaf people.