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Hearing The Birds

I love the end of February in the northern hemisphere. I don’t feel quite so like a mole anymore - there’s at least a hint more light when I leave the house in the mornings and the office in the evenings. This particular last week of winter I’ve also suddenly become aware of so much bird song. Perhaps it’s because this is my first February since moving to a much more rural area; but it certainly feels like the air is much more alive with the sound of Spring’s hopes and promises.

Birds feature quite prominently in my personal life throughout the year, as my other half is a keen photographer; and is constantly clicking away to capture that perfect image of our feathered friends. It is however a little more unusual for me to have anything to do with them in my line of work. As much as ‘being able to hear the birds singing again’ is one of those clichés within the hearing aid world; it is usually speech discrimination that is focussed on the most.

Strangely though, I’ve had a couple of customers fulfil the cliché in the past week. One sent me an email with questions and observations about his HD400; and ended with the following (thanks Mr W):

The overall improvement in perceived high frequency response has brought forward Spring with more birds singing! ‘ Mr D picked up his HD350s directly from the office. After he had put them on, I had to fetch something from another room, and when I returned he was standing in front of a window looking rather amazed. ‘Just listening to the birds,’ he said.

I was reminded that as much as being able to hear speech is a critical measure of the success of a hearing aid fitting, the importance of other environmental sounds shouldn’t be overlooked. The marketing divisions of hearing aid manufacturers love to fill their brochures about the improved quality of life that a hearing aid can provide; a really good feeling to see it in practice!

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