The Amaz­ing Things that Hear­ing Can Do

ZOOMER Magazine - - LIVING - For all these rea­sons and more, hear­ing is one of the most im­por­tant ways we gather in­for­ma­tion that com­pletes our pic­ture of the world. If you’ve been miss­ing a few pieces of that pic­ture due to a sus­pected hear­ing loss, please call 1-888-522-5976 to bo

Sound is ev­ery­where, all of the time. Al­most when­ever any­thing moves, it makes a sound. The slight­est brush, scrape or tap makes a tiny vi­bra­tion that be­comes a small noise, and ev­ery sound car­ries in­for­ma­tion about the world. Af­ter mil­lions of years of evo­lu­tion, our ears have be­come amaz­ing tools that bring the world to life. Here’s how.

Hear­ing makes your world high-res­o­lu­tion

Like a sound­track can trans­form a movie, your ears add rich de­tails that make life mean­ing­ful. They add de­tails such as if there are birds fly­ing above you, a beach up ahead, or wind blow­ing in the trees. Hear­ing can tell you if a room has a sense of at­mos­phere, whether it’s fur­nished or empty, if it is rain­ing on the win­dow, or if there are flames crack­ling in the fire­place. With good hear­ing, you know thou­sands of small de­tails like these with­out look­ing. You sim­ply be­come aware as your hear­ing works in har­mony with all of your other senses to en­rich your com­plete pic­ture of the world.

We have built hear­ing into civ­i­liza­tion

Be­cause hear­ing has al­ways been im­por­tant to us, we’ve built our world around it. Bells mark the pas­sage of time. Pub­lic ad­dress sys­tems give you im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion while you’re walk­ing through a train sta­tion. Nav­i­ga­tion apps give ver­bal com­mands so you can fol­low di­rec­tions with­out look­ing down. In­creas­ingly, we use elec­tronic beeps to tell you things, such as if your food is ready, your com­puter is start­ing up, or your seat­belt is un­done. Our ears help us keep things in or­der too. Squeaks tell us that some­thing needs lu­bri­ca­tion. Knock­ing sounds tell us that things need main­te­nance. Rat­tles tell us that some­thing is loose. With­out these sim­ple clues and sig­nals, life be­comes a lit­tle less sim­ple. And what’s more, sound works just as well in the day­time as in the dark.

Hear­ing gives you vi­tal in­for­ma­tion

Through our ears, we get ad­vance warn­ing of things we can’t see, so they ar­rive as less of a shock – whether it’s a ter­ri­to­rial dog barking as you walk past, or a fam­ily mem­ber en­ter­ing the room be­hind you. In this way, hear­ing con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to your men­tal map of the world. It helps you to ori­en­tate your­self in it: to know where things are, how they’re mov­ing, and whether they are rel­e­vant for your at­ten­tion.

Sounds help us re­late to other peo­ple

Of the bil­lions of peo­ple in the world, our ears can rec­og­nize the voice of a sin­gle per­son. What’s more, our hear­ing can tell us their mood. If they’re happy, tired, or un­well, we can hear it in their voice. The tone of some­one’s voice is very im­por­tant too. The same words can mean com­pletely dif­fer­ent things de­pend­ing on the speed and ris­ing or fall­ing in­to­na­tion. The way peo­ple say words can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween some­thing be­ing a joke and a state­ment. Be­ing able to hear sub­tle dif­fer­ences is thus crit­i­cal for ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

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