Have you ever slept with your bedroom window open and awoke to the beautiful sound of birds singing as the sun is coming up? Most people probably aren’t even aware that those bird songs are called the “dawn chorus”. Birds see the sunrise and, for some reason, decide it’s time to belt out their best melody. Each type of bird has its own kind of song, and together, they sound like a symphony of nature.
Of course, if you have untreated hearing loss, you may not notice the dawn chorus at all. And that’s sad.
That’s especially true because it’s not just birdsong you may be missing out on. Summer is full of incredible sounds. And you may be missing those summer sounds because you have hearing loss that’s gone undiagnosed or simply neglected. But you can start to enjoy all of those amazing summer sounds again with the help of a device like a hearing aid.
The sounds of summer
When you think about summer, you probably begin by imagining the sun in a blue sky. And, a very, very hot sun (whew). But if you stay in your imagination a bit longer, you’ll begin adding details that make this blue sky feel more like summer, the sounds that fill out the day. You may be thinking about:
- The sound of birds performing mating songs. (Love songs are not just enjoyed by humans.)
- The crashing of waves on the beach (or a babbling brook if you’re in a more landlocked area).
- The sound of your grandchildren playing and laughing.
- Bees buzzing about helping nature bloom by pollinating flowers.
- The sound of frogs croaking at night, particularly in the early hours of the evening.
You get the point. There are a bunch of sounds going on. The feeling and vibe of summer are significantly enhanced by these sounds. Plus, there is so much happiness in these simple sounds themselves.
It’s possible that hearing loss might have snuck up on you, especially if these or any other summer sounds seem to be different to you these days. Once you’ve detected that problem, the next step is to do something about it.
Hearing aids can help you enjoy summer
For most, hearing aids are really about strengthening connections. They’re about communication. They make it easier to talk to others, to hear what’s going on around you, and to enjoy the sounds that you hear. And at those summer cook-outs, for instance, that’s even more important.
Contemporary hearing aids have some incredible technology that will help you savor those summer sounds. For example, most contemporary hearing aids offer:
- Noise reduction: If you want to hear the sound of crashing waves, but not the thunder of traffic behind you, you’ll want hearing aids that can help you sort out these sounds (in the same way your ears once did). Modern hearing aids have substantial noise reduction features, so you can hear what you really want to hear.
- Automatic programming: Modern hearing aids can automatically adapt to new settings or times of day, depending on how you program them. This feature makes them more reliable and simpler to use.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Perhaps you want some music playing while you’re out on the boat. Well, your hearing aids can be synced to the boat’s stereo using Bluetooth.
- Rechargeability: Your battery will stay charged throughout the day after charging when you are sleeping at night. Essentially, you can charge your hearing aids the same way you charge your cellphone. This also makes traveling with hearing aids a lot easier.
- Machine learning: Fancy algorithms (called machine learning) can help your hearing aids adapt to what you need, even before you know you need it. In loud environments or when eliminating particular sounds, this can be especially convenient.
- Smartphone compatibility: You can connect your hearing aids to your cellphone and start enjoying all sorts of features. Depending on the particular hearing situation, you will be able to manage the settings on your hearing aids by utilizing an app you can download on most smartphones.
You can ask us about how your pair of hearing aids are suited to your favorite adventures (for instance, you can ask whether you can use them while you’re going for a swim or hiking up a mountain, that type of thing). Hearing aids and water-sports don’t always play nice together. But you will have a deeper overall summer experience with your hearing aids.
You’ll also want to ask us some basic questions about your hearing aid models. Will your hearing aids have a problem with hot weather, for instance? And you should also ask, how do I safeguard my hearing aids from humidity? The answer to both will depend on the model of hearing aid you have.
Some loud sounds you may want to avoid
As much as you love the sound of the dawn chorus, there are a few other summer sounds that could actually be damaging to your hearing, so you’ll probably want to stay away from them. These are sounds that are, well, loud! And everyone’s ears are vulnerable even if they don’t have pre-existing hearing loss. Here are a few of those sounds:
- Fireworks: Dogs have the right idea. Your hearing can definitely be harmed by fireworks. Similarly, being close to home-launched fireworks can also be damaging to your hearing (and limbs). Best to simply avoid fireworks altogether.
- Live music: It’s great fun to attend a live music concert but the loud volume can be damaging to your hearing. This means you might want to be particular about which shows you see (rather than attending a festival every weekend).
- Boat engines: These engines are loud, so use some caution about distance and exposure time. When you’re fishing, turn the engine off. Or, an even better plan would be to put in some earplugs.
This is only a partial list. Summer activities for individuals who have hearing loss may not include quite as many of those fireworks and loud noise conditions.
But even with hearing loss you most likely won’t want to stay away from every noisy summer event. So what’s the solution? Using ear protection is the best strategy. For example, before you go to a concert, put in a set of earplugs so you can minimize a lot of the damage. You just need to make sure you’re using effective ear protection.
Appreciate the sounds of summer
As the heat of summer becomes more oppressive, if you are dealing with hearing loss, the summer sounds might feel like they’re getting further away. And that means you could miss a lot of the season’s joy.
So you might need to come in and see us if you want to make sure you get the most out of your summer. We can help determine the state of your hearing and, if needed, help decide what type of hearing aids will be the best choice for you.
So if you want to appreciate the dawn chorus, that’s where you should start. Because birdsongs are only the beginning of those incredible summer sounds.
Get the most out of your ears this summer and beyond. Call us for a hearing exam and discover if hearing aids are the right option for you.