May 2, 2023
This month we celebrate the wonders of the sense of hearing. Hearing is one ability that connects us with people, animals, pets, machines, music, and nature. Through our ears, we receive important messages. “I love you.” “Look out!” Cats purring. A moving violin solo adding sadness to a movie. Rushing water. Birds chirping. Approaching thunderstorms. A baby’s first words. A tea kettle. So much information and emotion are received through our ears.
Through a delicate maze of tissues, bones, fluid, and nerve cells, we receive vibrations from the world and turn them into meaning. We can sense stress in a person's voice. We react to alert sounds. We know when the dog wants to come inside. Physicians can hear hearts’ rhythms and detect problems. Fun fact: our ear drums can vibrate at the same frequency (heard as pitch) of every instrument in the orchestra at the same time. Experienced listeners can tell Duane Allman from Eric Clapton just by the sound of the guitar. People in past generations were able to recognize relatives’ voices on old telephones with very poor fidelity.
Hearing is a miraculous function. It is easy to take for granted until something disrupts it or takes it away. Loss of hearing separates people from people, as Helen Keller once said. Loss of hearing can be dangerous. Loss of hearing can be frustrating. Loss of hearing can be isolating. To those who have never had hearing and are Deaf, there are excellent alternative methods for giving and receiving information. For those who have relied on hearing their whole lives, however, hearing loss can be devastating.
This month we reflect on the ears, hearing, and all it gives us. Take time to savor your auditory world. Listen to your favorite music. Hear the birds outside in the morning and the cars heading to work. Test your smoke alarms – you may want earplugs for that. Listen to your grandchildren practicing instruments. Call an old friend. Protect from loud sounds. Get it checked if you suspect a problem. You only get one set of ears in life.
For more information, we invite you to visit our locations in Greece and Brighton. We can also be reached by calling 585-723-3440 or by sending an email through our secure contact form. As always, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health. Happy listening.