Have you ever woken up after a night’s sleep and heard birds singing a delightful song through your open window? 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 sing out their best melody. The songs of these birds, when they’re all sounding together, are a lovely symphony.
But you might not hear the “dawn chorus” at all if you have neglected hearing loss. And that’s unfortunate.
That’s particularly true because it’s not just birdsong you may be missing out on. Summer is full of incredible sounds. And if you find yourself missing out on the sounds of summer, it might be the result of some undiagnosed (or diagnosed and ignored) hearing loss. The good news in these instances is that a device like a hearing aid may help you appreciate and more fully enjoy your summer.
The sounds of summer
You most likely think of a very hot sun in a clear blue sky when you think about summer. But if you stay in your imagination a little longer, you’ll start adding highlights that make this blue sky seem more like summer, the sounds that fill out the day. You may be thinking about:
- The sound of birds singing out mating songs. (Love songs aren’t just enjoyed by humans.)
- The sound of frogs croaking at night, particularly in the early hours of the night.
- Something as basic as your grandchildren laughing, perhaps as they run around the yard or as you catch a baseball game with each other.
- The babbling of a stream or the crashing of waves.
- Bees buzzing around helping nature bloom by pollinating flowers.
These are only a few examples. There are lots of sounds going on. The experience and vibe of summer are greatly enhanced by these sounds. Plus, there is so much joy in these simple sounds themselves.
If these sounds of summer (or any sounds of summer) seem different to you these days, it’s probably because an apparent level of hearing loss has effectively crept up on you. Once you’ve noticed that problem, the next step is to do something about it.
Hearing aids can help you enjoy summer
Building connections is what hearing aids are really all about for most. They’re about communication. You’ll be more aware of what’s happening around you, better able to communicate with those around you, and enjoy the sounds in your world. And that’s particularly important at those summer barbecues, for example.
The newest models of hearing aids can help you savor the sounds of summer, and they are equipped with some pretty great built in tech, too. For instance, most contemporary hearing aids provide:
- Rechargeability: You can recharge your hearing aid while sleeping and get full batteries all through the day. It’s much like charging your cellphone. This also makes vacationing with hearing aids a lot easier.
- Smartphone compatibility: You can connect your hearing aids to your smartphone and begin enjoying all sorts of features. Many phones will now enable you to download apps that help you control 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: Out on the boat and want to enjoy some tunes? Just sync the boat’s radio to your hearing aids via Bluetooth.
- Automatic programming: You can program your modern hearing aids to automatically switch settings depending on the time of day or setting you find yourself in. This function makes them more effective and easier to use.
- Noise reduction: You’ll want to have hearing aids that can differentiate particular sounds (your ears once did this) so you can enjoy those crashing waves without having the traffic behind you amplified too. Noise reduction features are common in modern hearing aids so you will be capable of dialing in the sounds you want to hear.
- Machine learning: Your hearing aid can utilize “machine learning”, which are sophisticated intelligent algorithms, to adapt to your audio landscape before you even knew it needed to. This is especially convenient when filtering sounds or in a noisy environment.
We can help you discover how your particular hearing needs can be met by your hearing aids (for example, you can ask whether you can wear them while you’re going for a swim or hiking up a mountain, that kind of thing). Hearing aids and water-sports don’t always get along. But all in all, your hearing aids will make your summer an all around livelier experience.
Also, asking us basic questions about your hearing aid model will be a practical idea. For instance, you should ask, can hot weather impact my hearing aids? Also, does humidity have any impact on my hearing aid and how can I safeguard it? The answer to both questions will depend on the model of hearing aid you use.
Maybe avoid these sounds
As much as you enjoy 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, noisy! And they’re damaging to everyone’s ears, not just individuals who have pre-existing hearing loss. Some of those sounds include:
- Boat engines: Be careful of how close you get and how long you spend around these engines because they are very loud. When you’re fishing, shut the engine off. Or, an even better idea would be to put in some earplugs.
- Fireworks: The dogs are on to something. Going to fireworks shows can certainly damage your ears. This includes both commercial and home launched fireworks. It’s best for your hearing to keep away from fireworks entirely.
- Live music: Outdoor concerts are a big part of summer, but they can be damaging to your ears. So you may want to exercise some caution and be picky about which shows you attend and use earplugs.
This list is not exhaustive. For people who are coping with hearing loss, summer might have a few less of these loud activities.
Having said that, you may not be able to, or even want to, avoid all loud noises during the summer. So what can you do? Well, you can use ear protection. For example, before you go to a live show, put in a set of earplugs so you can decrease a lot of the damage. You just need to make sure you’re using effective ear protection.
Enjoy the sounds of summer
As the heat of summer becomes more oppressive, if you are dealing with hearing loss, the summer sounds may seem like they’re getting further away. And that means you might miss a lot of the season’s joy.
Getting the most from your summer then, may mean coming to see us. We can help determine the state of your hearing and, if needed, help decide what kind of hearing aid will be the best choice for you.
So if you want to enjoy the dawn chorus, that’s where you need to begin. 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 find out if hearing aids are the right choice for you.