by Martin Jurek
There’s a place down by Salmon
Point, just a short drive from Campbell River, where Jana and I like to
go for walks. There, removed from even the ubiquitous din of highway
traffic, we’re able to fully immerse ourselves in the therapeutic
solitude of nature.
As we walk, sparrows, flickers and other
songbirds twitter a melodic harmony that melts even the most deeply
lodged remnants of weekday stress. A warm spring breeze rustles gently
as it glides through the cedars, while the calm waters of the Salish Sea
lap unfalteringly against the pebbled beach.
These sounds are
like therapy. Mother Nature’s soothing soundtrack is a perfect little
pill that we can pop whenever life’s hustle becomes too much or we
simply need a spiritual reset.
But here’s the thing . . .
I know not everyone can hear these soothing sounds that give Jana and me so much cathartic pleasure.
our hearing sensitivity begins to change, it’s these soft sounds that
are generally the first to go. Most of the 3.5 million Canadians living
with reduced hearing sensitivity, in fact, don't even realize it. So
think carefully . . . how many of these soul-soothing sounds are missing
from your life?
The satisfying crackle of a campfire . . .
The soothing burble of a forest brook . . .
The gentle tapping of the morning rain on your rooftop . . .
The sizzle of bacon in a Sunday morning skillet . . .
The tender “I love you” whispered in a warm embrace . . .
It’s more serious than you think
seen too many relationships taxed to the brink because of an
undiagnosed or otherwise unnoticed change in hearing. A husband will
complain that his wife is constantly mumbling, for example, or a wife
will accuse her husband of constantly ignoring her. These are just two
of the most obvious ways a change in hearing can slowly erode the
quality of your life.
Studies have shown that our hearing can also
have a significant affect on other areas of our health. Researchers at
Johns Hopkins University, for example, recently found that individuals
with an untreated change in hearing sensitivity also face an elevated
risk of dementia. Another survey showed significantly higher rates of
depression, anxiety and other psychosocial disorders.
Make no mistake about it: this is serious stuff.
I can’t help but be drawn back to the simple, subtle pleasures we
derive from sound, like the ones Jana and I enjoy at Salmon Point. What
does it mean to miss out on the background sounds of life? Like
Schindler’s List without John Williams’ heart-wrenching soundtrack,
life’s simplest pleasures can easily become void of emotional meaning or
Living with reduced hearing sensitivity is like
walking through life with tunnel vision; the true crime is that you
rarely realize the significance of what you’re missing.
you suspect that you or someone you love may be missing some of life’s
finer details, I encourage you to find out more about how to recognize
and deal with changes in hearing sensitivity. We’ve provided a few resources to get you started on our Hearing Solutions page.
decision about your health and your hearing, of course, is yours and
yours alone – and that includes whether or not to book a complimentary
hearing assessment. If we can provide you with information when you want
it, and be here to answer any questions you might have, then we’ve done
But if we can also help you rediscover the full beauty
and aural complexity of this wonderful thing we call existence – well,
that would be music to my ears.