Those who live with hearing loss acquired as an adult will likely express that there is nothing like normal natural hearing even with the use of today’s most advanced hearing devices.
The performance of the healthy human ear is extraordinary and awe-inspiring. Consider how the ear can sense the slight sounds of rustling leaves, the first drops of rain, and a soft whisper. We are surrounded by traveling waves of air molecules caused by objects vibrating all around us. Our ears allow us to perceive information in the very air that we breathe by amplifying the movement of air molecules through several remarkable processes:
Our ears are already equipped to provide phenomenal amplification. Exposure to excessively loud sounds overdrives this system, breaking the “hairs” of the hair cells and diminishing the performance of the cochlear amplifier. Rustling leaves, rain drops, and whispers become things seen but not heard
Biomedical and surgical advances can restore much of the function of the outer ear and middle ear. However, the intricate mechanic-to-electric transduction of sound from the cochlea to the brain is currently not replicable.
To continue to enjoy the wonder and beauty of good hearing, we need to conserve it and appreciate it by “turning the volume down”. When that is not possible, use hearing-protection hearing protectors to enjoy sound at safe levels.