It’s incredible the little things we take for granted in life. And watching people do something we consider as simple as hearing for the first time will make anyone re-evaluate the things we genuinely need to be grateful for.
Have you ever had an ear infection that impaired your hearing temporarily? It is a frustrating experience that most people can identify with. You can’t hear others clearly, nor can you hear your own words. While your situation might have come from a short-term infection, millions of others live that way permanently. Some people have hearing loss or deafness from birth, while others develop it with age or because of a lifetime of working in a noisy environment.
We take for granted so many sounds that play like background music to our lives–the first cry of a newborn baby, the sound of our loved ones’ voices, and birds singing on a springtime morning. But now, the reality of a life of silence is changing, thanks to modern-day technology like cochlear implants. These new implants are sophisticated hearing aids embedded inside the ear. They enable people with hearing loss or deafness to enjoy life more fully than in the past. Watching people in the video below is so touching–you will want to watch it repeatedly.
Before we start watching people hear for the first time, here are some things to know.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines hearing loss as the following:
“A person is said to have hearing loss if they are not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing, meaning hearing thresholds of twenty dB or better in both ears.”
WHO experts further explain how hearing loss ranges from mild to moderate challenges like low hearing or tinnitus to profound deafness.
Hearing loss and deafness can lead to numerous negative outcomes in individuals, including these:
- Feelings of social isolation, especially in large groups.
- Frustration at missing important conversations.
- Loneliness when hearing people don’t include them.
- Learning loss or delays often occur in children who are not diagnosed properly.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders provides some eye-opening statistics on hearing loss and deafness in America.
- 37.5 million over the age of eighteen have hearing difficulties
- As of December of 2019, approximately 801,900 Americans had received cochlear implants–118,100 adults and 65,000 children.
- 28.8 million American adults may benefit from hearing aids.
- Ninety percent of children born deaf have hearing parents.
- Two or three out of every thousand children in the United States have some level of hearing loss in one or both ears at birth.
Final Thought: Do we take the gift of hearing for granted?
The numbers mentioned above should certainly make everyone who has never experienced deafness appreciate the gift of hearing and see it in an entirely new light. Watch this video–it is so uplifting. Watching people hear sounds for the first time will make you thankful for your abilities and also more aware of how you can advocate for those with hearing disabilities.