Have you ever taken a moment to enjoy the small things in life? This may be in the form of attending a festival, hearing glasses clinking in your favorite bar, having a deep conversation with a loved one, or taking a walk along the shore of a beach. Many of us are guilty of getting caught up in the chaotic happenings of our day-to-day lifestyle, and this causes us to forget what’s important. Moreover, we fail to notice the small, intricate workings of our surrounding environment. When was the last time you actually listened to a bird sing or the laughter of children playing with one another? If you’re anything like the average adult, it’s been years!
The Beauty of Sound
Sound is one of our five sense that we seem to take for granted. When implored about which of our human functions is most critical for an enjoyable life, many of us would choose eyesight or taste — who can resist a good, home-cooked meal? But what we may not realize is that sound, in all of its variations, forms the framework of our life. Think about not being able to hear the encouraging voice of your partner, the wise words of your relatives, or the curious questions of a young one. Each of these moments creates a beautiful tapestry in which to paint our life’s journey.
Without the gift of sound, we may live a life that could be considered by many as “half full.” What this means, in a general sense, is that the way we communicate and form relationships are handicapped to some degree. Think of being in a situation where you were unable to understand sarcasm or jokes. Each of these scenarios may confuse and overwhelm your mental faculties and cause you to react to the experience in an inefficient way. This only goes to further show that sound is one of life’s major components that allow us to bond with other individuals on a deeper and more intimate level.
Protect Your Hearing
According to recent statistics released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, three out of every one-thousand children born will have total or impaired hearing loss. This data goes on to further explain that over 15% of adults — aged 18 and over — are living with impaired hearing that causes them to seek medical treatment. With data like this laid out on the table in front of us, we need to explore techniques and tactics in which to protect and preserve our ability to hear.
Our first step is to make sure that we visit our doctor on a regular basis. We know that going for an appointment can be burdensome and cause anxiety, but it’s a critical component of remaining healthy in the years to come. Most doctors will use a specific tool called an otoscope to examine the inner-workings of your ear. These devices use various light sources to illuminate the innermost parts of the ear so that the physician may examine for things like excessive ear wax, damaged drums, and middle-ear disease. You may have had a physician use this device on you in the past to examine inside your nose and in your mouth as well.
In combination with medical exams, we also need to become cognizant of how we treat our ears on a regular basis. Do you listen to loud music or frequently attend concerts where the audio volume is high? If so, wearing protective headgear such as plugs and sound-canceling headphones will lower the volume of the sound while protecting the eardrum itself. Moreover, we need to practice discipline in our personal lives when we engage with music on our phones or sounds within a video game. Most of us rely on earbuds to enhance the action and amplify the bass tones within various media. Instead of using full volume during these moments, opt to use 30% or 40% volume.
The World is Your Oyster
In the following weeks and months, you have a homework assignment. Don’t worry, it won’t be hard. We want you to sit down in a comfortable position — outdoors or otherwise — and examine the sounds around you. Fully experience the rich sounds of your environment and you’ll experience bliss like never before.