If you look for the definition of “sound”, you would find something similar to this:
We all take sound for granted, unless it is lost, or unless the sound is irritating us, like the sound of a jack hammer that someone is using while doing works next door. But then again, we all have our own favourite sounds; the sound of music, the sound of a baby’s first words, the sound of rain, the sound of waves, the sound of thunders, and so on.
But have you ever considered the sound of silence? Ironically enough, silence is not a sound. Have you ever thought what it’s like to be deaf or hard of hearing?
I am hard of hearing and I do not know which sounds I am missing. I am only familiar with the sounds I can hear, and there are sounds which I don’t even know that exist. Over the years, I have upgraded my hearing aids more than once with new advanced hearing aids. Each time it was very exhausting, as with the new hearing aids I started to hear new sounds.
But of course, the ability to hear new sounds was the reason to upgrade to new advanced hearing aids. Some sounds were so new, that I could not even depict what they were or where they were coming from. The world became noisier, and each time I upgraded to new hearing aids, it took me about six months to get used to the ‘noisier’ world. Getting used to the ‘noisier’ world means becoming familiar to the new sounds. It is the moment when I learn how to put the new ‘unimportant’ sounds at the back of my mind, and not take any notice of them.
Let me give an example to help you understand better this situation. With my old hearing aids, I could not hear the steps of people walking by. Since I never heard the sound, I did not know that it even existed! When I started wearing the new and advanced hearing aids, the sound of the steps was one of the new sounds which I started to hear. I recall asking my ‘hearing’ friend what the ticking sound was. At first my friend had no idea which sound I was talking about, because she is so used to hearing steps of people walking by, that she does not even notice it. That is the reason why the world is ‘noisier’ when I start wearing new and advanced hearing aids – because I am fully alert to the new sounds which other people take for granted.
Today, I too take some sounds for granted, like the steps of people walking by. I learned how to not take any notice of certain ‘unimportant’ sounds and put them at the back of my mind. Hence when getting used to the new sounds, the world is not ‘noisy’ anymore, but normal.
I do find myself wondering which other sounds exist that I am still unable to hear. Perhaps the sound of rain sounds different than I imagine it? I do wonder what it sounds like..