Have you ever slept with your bedroom window open and woken up to the wonderful sound of birds singing as the sun is coming up? Most individuals probably don’t even know that the name for those bird-songs is the “dawn chorus”. For whatever reason, birds see the sun coming up and choose to start belting out their favorite songs. 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 might not hear the dawn chorus at all. Which is a shame.
That’s especially true because it’s not just birdsong you may be missing out on. Summer is full of amazing sounds. And if you find yourself missing out on the sounds of summer, it might be due to some undiagnosed (or diagnosed and ignored) hearing loss. The good news in these cases is that a device like a hearing aid could help you appreciate and enjoy your summer days more fully.
You likely think of a very hot sun in a clear blue sky when you think of summer. And then you begin to imagine the summer soundtrack that goes along with this vision. Some sounds you might think about:
- The babbling of a stream or the crashing of waves.
- Something as simple as your grandkids laughing, maybe as they run around the yard or as you catch a baseball game with each other.
- The sound of birds chirping, particularly in the spring during, ahem, mating season. (Love songs are not just appreciated by humans.)
- Peepers and crickets chirping a symphony as the sun goes down.
- The buzzing of bees as they fly around pollinating flowers and helping the landscape bloom.
These are just a few examples. There are lots of sounds going on. The experience and vibe of summer are considerably enhanced by these sounds. And these sounds by themselves bring great joy.
If these summer sounds (or any sounds of summer) seem different to you these days, it’s probably because an apparent level of hearing loss has successfully snuck up on you. Once you’ve noticed that issue, the next step is to take action.
Hearing aids can help you enjoy summer
For most individuals, hearing aids are really about building relationships. 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 at those summer cook-outs, for instance, that’s even more important.
Contemporary hearing aids have some fantastic technology that will help you bask in those summer sounds. For instance, most contemporary hearing aids offer:
- 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 convenient.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Perhaps you want some tunes while you’re out boating. Well, your hearing aids can be connected to the boat’s stereo using Bluetooth.
- Noise reduction: You’ll want to have hearing aids that can sort through particular sounds (your ears once did this) so you can enjoy those crashing waves without having the traffic behind you amplified as well. Noise reduction features are normal in modern hearing aids so you will be capable of dialing in the sounds you want to hear.
- Rechargeability: Your battery will stay charged all day after charging when you are sleeping at night. It’s much like charging your cellphone. This also makes vacationing with hearing aids a lot easier.
- Smartphone compatibility: You can sync your hearing aids to your cellphone and start enjoying all kinds of features. Many phones will now enable you to download apps that help you control the settings on your hearing aids, so you can adjust for birdsong or grandchildren’s laughter depending on what you want to hear at that time.
- Automatic programming: Modern hearing aids can automatically adapt to new environments or times of day, depending on how they’re programmed. This makes them easier to use and more effective.
We can help you discover how your specific hearing needs can be met by your hearing aids (for instance, you can ask whether you can use them while you’re swimming or hiking up a mountain, that kind of thing). Hearing aids and water-sports don’t always get along. But you will have a deeper overall summer experience with your hearing aids.
Also, asking us basic questions about your hearing aid model will be a good idea. Will your hearing aids have an issue with hot weather, for example? Also, does humidity have any effect 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.
Some loud sounds you may want to avoid
Some summer sounds, unlike the dawn chorus, will be harmful to your ears and you should make sure to steer clear of them. These loud sounds are a real hazard! And everybody’s ears are vulnerable even if they don’t have pre-existing hearing loss. Here are a few of those sounds:
- Boat engines: These engines are loud, so exercise some caution about distance and exposure time. When you’re fishing, turn the engine off. Or, better yet, pop in some earplugs for the entirety of your boat trip.
- Live music: Outdoor concerts are a big part of summer, but they can be damaging to your ears. So you may want to use some caution and be selective about which shows you attend and use earplugs.
- Fireworks: Dogs have the right idea. Your hearing can definitely be harmed by fireworks. Likewise, being close to home-launched fireworks can also be harmful to your hearing (and limbs). Best to just stay away from fireworks altogether.
This list isn’t exhaustive. Summer activities for people who have hearing loss may not include quite as many of those fireworks and loud noise conditions.
That said, you might not be able to, or even want to, stay away from all loud noises during the summer. So what’s the solution? Well, you can wear ear protection. For instance, before you go to a live show, put in a set of earplugs so you can reduce a lot of the damage. You just need to make certain you’re using effective ear protection.
Have fun this summer and enjoy the sounds
If you are dealing with hearing loss, the sounds of summer may feel like they’re getting further and further away (even as the heat of summer becomes more and more oppressive). Which means, much of the joy of the season could pass you by.
Getting the most from your summer then, may mean coming to see us. We can help identify the state of your hearing and, if needed, help determine what type of hearing aid will be the best choice for you.
So begin here if you’re ready to appreciate the dawn chorus. And you’ll also be able to enjoy all of the other wonderful summer sounds.
Get a hearing tune-up this summer. Schedule an appointment today to find out which hearing aids are best for you!