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Sounds of Summer: The Great Outdoors

The best sounds of summer are the sounds of laughter — and the most meaningful laughter always sounds best when it's coming from the people you care most about, your family and friends.Sounds of Summer - the Great Outdoors

What says summer better than hanging out with family members? What says summer better than the joy of kids free from the obligation of school? Or a drink shared with a friend on a patio?

There are many sounds that really bring the laughter during the warm, summer months. The ring of a bicycle bell, children swimming in a nearby pool, the hiss of a hamburger patty grilling on a backyard barbecue, an outdoor concert with your favourite musicians, or the sharp crackle of a roasting marshmallow.

And then there's the unforgettable sound of nature, truly one of the best sounds of summer. Birds singing with the rising sun, dogs barking at the movement of a cat or squirrel outside the window, the beautiful, calming sound of a flowing river. These are the sounds that mean the most to us.

But the sounds of summer also bring dangerous noise levels. Construction projects, music played too loud into earphones or out of speakers at concerts — cars and boats.

One of the reasons why we at Connect Hearing Canada encourage people to visit our clinics for a free hearing test is that we want you to be able to always enjoy the sounds that summer has to offer. We also want to make people aware of the problem of hearing loss.

Read the statistics and you will understand why we have made this our mission. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 17 per cent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. Huffington Post UK says that an estimated 10 million people suffer from hearing loss in the UK at present but by 2031 as many as 14.1 million people will struggle with hearing, according to a report from the think-tank International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK).

Huffington Post Canada referred to a chilling 2010 study, where it was revealed that hearing loss among teens had risen over the past decade by approximately 31 per cent. One in five teens in the U.S. now deals with some degree of hearing loss and in Canada, one in 10 have hearing problems. The reasons for these statistics weren't specified, but it almost goes without saying that the popularity and inescapable presence of music in our everyday lives plays a factor.

So while we all love the sounds of summer, there are precautions that should be considered.

M.J. DeSousa, Connect Hearing’s Director of Professional Practice, says summer is the perfect time to celebrate and relax with family and friends. But it's also a good time to learn everything that you can about hearing health, and how the activities you love most may be affecting you.

“I tell people all the time, summer is made to be enjoyed, so enjoy it. But summer is also the perfect time to reflect on your health, and that includes your hearing,” says DeSousa. “Too many of us fail to understand that even during good times, there are dangers. Things to watch for include motor and water sports, loud movies, concerts, earphones. Even our jobs — careers such as aircraft maintenance workers, engineers, truck drivers or police officers — can bring specific dangers. So have a great time this summer, relax and enjoy the weather, but also reflect on your hearing health. The sounds of summer are made to be enjoyed, and you need your ears to do that.”

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