Have you ever slept with your bedroom window open and awoke to the lovely sound of birds singing just as the sun comes up? Turns out, there’s a term for all those birdsongs: the dawn chorus. For whatever reason, birds see the sun rising and choose to start belting out their favorite songs. The songs of these birds, when they’re all singing together, are a lovely symphony.
But you may not notice the “dawn chorus” at all if you have untreated hearing loss. And that’s sad.
That’s particularly true because it isn’t 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 dismissed. But you can start to enjoy all of those wonderful summer sounds again with the help of a device like a hearing aid.
When you think about summer, you probably begin by imagining the sun in a blue sky. And, a really, really hot sun (whew). And then you begin to imagine the summer soundtrack that comes with this vision. You may be thinking about:
- The sound of your grandkids laughing and playing.
- Peepers and crickets chirping a symphony as the sun goes down.
- The babbling of a brook or the crashing of waves.
- Bees buzzing around helping nature bloom by pollinating flowers.
- The sound of birds singing, especially in the spring during, ahem, mating season. (Humans aren’t the only species to use love songs.)
You get the point. Summer is lively with wonderful sounds. The feeling and vibe of summer are considerably enhanced by these sounds. Plus, there is so much happiness in these simple sounds themselves.
It’s feasible that hearing loss might have snuck up on you, particularly if these or any other summer sounds sound to be different to you these days. If you have recognized your hearing loss then you should get something done about it.
Hearing aids can help you enjoy summer
For most people, hearing aids are really about building connections. Communication is key. They make it easier to converse with others, to hear what’s happening around you, and to appreciate the sounds that you hear. And at those summer cook-outs, for example, that’s even more relevant.
Modern hearing aids have some amazing technology that will help you savor those summer sounds. Here are some instances of some of that powerful technology:
- Smartphone compatibility: You can start to appreciate all types of features by syncing your hearing aid to your smartphone. Many cell phones will now enable you to download apps that help you manage the settings on your hearing aids, so you can fine-tune for birdsong or grandchildren’s laughter depending on what you want to hear at that time.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Maybe you want some music playing while you’re out boating. Well, your hearing aids can be connected to the boat’s stereo using Bluetooth.
- Automatic programming: Modern hearing aids can automatically adapt to new environments or times of day, depending on how you program them. This feature makes them more reliable and easier to use.
- Rechargeability: You can recharge your hearing aid while you sleep and enjoy full batteries throughout the day. Basically, you can charge your hearing aids in the same way you charge your cellphone. And when you travel with your hearing aids, it becomes very stress free.
- Machine learning: Cutting-edge algorithms (called machine learning) can help your hearing aids adjust to what you need, even before you know you need it. In noisy environments or when filtering out specific sounds, this can be especially handy.
- 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 (just like your ears used to do). Noise reduction features are normal in modern hearing aids so you will be capable of dialing in the sounds you want to hear.
We can help you discover how your specific hearing needs can be met by your hearing aids (you can ask us whether you can bring your hearing aids into the water or on a mountain hike for instance). Hearing aids and water-sports don’t always get along. But in general, your hearing aids will make your summer an all around livelier experience.
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 example? And you should also ask, how do I protect my hearing aids from humidity? The answer to both questions will depend on the model of hearing aid you use.
Some loud sounds you may want to avoid
As much as you enjoy the sound of the dawn chorus, there are a few other summer sounds that could actually be harmful to your hearing, so you’ll probably want to avoid them. These noisy sounds are a real hazard! And they’re damaging to everyone’s ears, not just individuals with pre-existing hearing loss. Here are some of those sounds:
- Boat engines: These engines are loud, so use some caution about distance and exposure time. When you’re fishing, turn the engine off. Or, better yet, put in some earplugs for the entirety of your boat trip.
- Fireworks: The dogs are on to something. Your hearing can definitely be harmed by fireworks. Likewise, being close to home-launched fireworks can also be harmful to your hearing (and limbs). It’s best for your hearing to stay away from fireworks completely.
- Live music: Outdoor concerts are a fun part of summer, but they can be damaging to your ears. This means you might want to be selective about which shows you see (rather than going to a festival every weekend).
This is only a partial list. For people who are coping with hearing loss, summer might have a few less of these loud events.
But even with hearing loss you most likely won’t want to stay away from every noisy summer activity. So what can you do? Wearing ear protection is the best strategy. For instance, 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 certain you’re using effective ear protection.
Enjoy the sounds of summer
If you have hearing loss, the sounds of summer may feel like they’re getting further and further away (even as the heat of summer gets more and more oppressive). Which means, a lot of the joy of the season could pass you by.
Getting the most from your summer then, might require coming to see us. We will be able to determine whether your hearing is failing or not, and what type of hearing aid will be best for your situation.
So if you want to appreciate the dawn chorus, that’s where you should start. And you’ll also be able to enjoy all of the other awesome summer sounds.
Get a hearing tune-up this summer. Call us for a hearing exam and discover if hearing aids are the right choice for you.