Mother Nature : The Audiologist

Nature provides us many resources that we can utilize in determining the context of our surroundings in order to navigate our paths, hunt for food, build our shelters, and so on. That being said, nature can act as an unexpected audiologist, in the most humorous of ways. Let me set the scene:

 

Author Prentice Parton shares the sounds of summer with his young daughter Ophelia. Mr. Parton is a marketing professional and suffers from unilateral high-frequency hearing loss.

What Katydids?

My wife and I are “children of the campground” so to speak. We both grew up navigating the campgrounds and state parks of America as children with our families, learning the meanings of the many sights and (more relevant to this story) sounds of nature.

My favorite sound of childhood was always the sound of Southern Katydids chirping whilst falling asleep in a tent. Recently, we became parents to a beautiful daughter that we want to "raise in tents" while teaching and exploring with in the very same way.

In an effort to “grant her an early start” as an infant, we decided that her white noise machine would generate comfort in the soothing sounds of southern spring nights. Upon a closer listen to the track, one night before falling asleep, my wife made an adamant statement that the track wasn’t, in fact, a spring night on loop… it was a much warmer, mid-summer night and we had been tricked. She knew this because she learned early in life that you can estimate air temperature by the frequency of a katydid’s chirp. I found this particularly baffling because, as I was laying on my left side, fading into slumber...I heard no chirping.

 

Why Can’t I Hear the Chirps?

Here are some facts that you might not have known:

  • In Summer, the Woodland Meadow Katydid will chirp at a frequency of approximately 10kHz
  • In Summer, the Southern Wood Cricket will chirp at a frequency of approximately 4.7kHz

I spent the next two nights in our bed, looking silly as I rolled from left side to right side.

Left side, no chirps.

Right side, chirps.

Rinse and repeat this behavior until I’ve driven my wife mad, and she suggests I get a hearing test.

See, the thing about a hearing test is that I am a 33 year-old man, and too young have hearing loss. Right? Wrong!

Upon a visit to the local audiologist, I discovered that the reason that I couldn’t hear the sweet sounds of the Woodland Meadow Katydid in summer that I had grown so fond of in my early years, was that I had unilateral high-frequency hearing loss as a result of hearing damage that was granted to me via my other passion: racing cars & motorcycles...without hearing protection. The 10kHz frequency of the Katydid was, simply, too high for me to hear with the particular type of high-frequency hearing loss that I have.

 

How Can I Hear my Favorite Sound Again?

There are treatment options for high-frequency hearing loss. My relief came in the form of the latest hearing aid processor and technology that comes with the Phonak Audeo B90R. This isn’t the hearing aid of my grandfather - this is a sleek, rechargeable, receiver-in-canal hearing aid that I have no trouble wearing as a 33 year-old that cares about style as much as function.

Some people run straight to music, and environments that they have previously had trouble hearing in after a hearing aid fitting. I have to be honest, I was most looking forward to getting home the night of my fitting, turning on the Sounds of a Southern “Spring”  track on my daughter’s white noise machine, and seeing if my particular hearing loss solution did exactly what it was programmed to do.

Needless to say… It works like a charm, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

Paying It Forward

It has been a few months since the beginning of these events. My daughter was born in February, and we spent many cold, but sleep filled nights, falling asleep to the white noise machine that, oddly and unknowingly enough, served as a very first audiogram and indicator of hearing loss for me.

I look back and laugh at how, in addition to the many resources and lessons that Mother Nature provides, it also serves as an indicator of personal issues like hearing loss. It’s mid-summer now, and I can’t help but think about how I might have missed out on some of the beautiful sounds of nature that I was looking forward to exposing my beautiful daughter to, for the very first time, on our camping and exploration trips.

My true joy comes from seeing her face light up during our camping trips as we sit in nature and just...listen.

Mother Nature : The Audiologist

Nature provides us many resources that we can utilize in determining the context of our surroundings in order to navigate our paths, hunt for food, build our shelters, and so on. That being said, nature can act as an unexpected audiologist, in the most humorous of ways. Let me set the scene:

 

Author Prentice Parton shares the sounds of summer with his young daughter Ophelia. Mr. Parton is a member of the Marketing Department at HearingPlanet and suffers from unilateral high-frequency hearing loss.

What Katydids?

My wife and I are “children of the campground” so to speak. We both grew up navigating the campgrounds and state parks of America as children with our families. Learning the meanings of the many sights and (more relevant to this story) sounds of nature. My favorite sound of childhood was always the sound of Southern Katydids chirping whilst falling asleep in a tent. Recently, we became parents to a beautiful daughter that we want to raise while teaching and exploring with in the very same way.

In an effort to “grant her an early start” as an infant, we decided that her white noise machine would generate comfort in the soothing sounds of southern spring nights. Upon a closer listen to the track, one night before falling asleep, my wife made an adamant statement that the track wasn’t, in fact, a spring night on loop… it was a much warmer, mid-summer night and we had been tricked. She knew this because she learned early in life that you can estimate air temperature by the frequency of a katydid’s chirp. I found this particularly baffling because, as I was laying on my left side, fading into slumber...I heard no chirping.

 

Why Can’t I Hear the Chirps?

Here are some facts that you might not have known:

  • In Summer, the Woodland Meadow Katydid will chirp at a frequency of approximately 10kHz
  • In Summer, the Southern Wood Cricket will Chirp at a frequency of approximately 4.7kHz

I spent the next two nights in our bed, looking silly as I rolled from left side to right side.

Left side, no chirps.

Right side, chirps.

Rinse and repeat this behavior until I’ve driven my wife mad, and she suggests I get a hearing test.

See, the thing about a hearing test is that I am a 33 year-old man, and too young have hearing loss. Right? Wrong!

Upon a visit to the local audiologist, I discovered that the reason that I couldn’t hear the sweet sounds of the Woodland Meadow Katydid in summer that I had grown so fond of in my early years, was that I had unilateral high-frequency hearing loss as a result of hearing damage that was granted to me via my other passion: racing cars & motorcycles...without hearing protection. The 10kHz frequency of the Katydid was, simply, too high for me to hear with the particular type of high-frequency hearing loss that I have.

 

How Can I Hear my Favorite Sound Again?

There are treatment options for high-frequency hearing loss. My relief came in the form of the latest hearing aid processor and technology that comes with the Phonak Audeo B90R. This isn’t the hearing aid of my grandfather - this is a sleek, rechargeable, receiver-in-canal hearing aid that I have no trouble wearing as a 33 year-old that cares about style as much as function.

Some people run straight to music, and environments that they have previously had trouble hearing in after a hearing aid fitting. I have to be honest, I was most looking forward to getting home the night of my fitting, turning on the Sounds of a Southern “Spring” track on my daughter’s white noise machine, and seeing if my particular hearing loss solution did exactly what it was programmed to do.

Needless to say… It works like a charm, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

Paying It Forward

It has been a few months since the beginning of these events. My daughter was born in February, and we spent many cold, but sleep filled nights, falling asleep to the white noise machine that, oddly and unknowingly enough, served as a very first audiogram and indicator of hearing loss for me.

I look back and laugh at how, in addition to the many resources and lessons that Mother Nature provides, it also serves as an indicator of personal issues like hearing loss. It’s mid-summer now, and I can’t help but think about how I might have missed out on some of the beautiful sounds of nature that I was looking forward to exposing my beautiful daughter to, for the very first time, on our camping and exploration trips.

My true joy comes from seeing her face light up during our camping trips as we sit in nature and just...listen.

 

  

  

  

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