You know those big floppy ears elephants have? Well, they've got those ears for a reason - to better capture sounds out on the savannah. But here's the interesting part. Researchers have also found in a recent study elephants have, in addition to auditory abilities, two additional sensory systems to detect a potential mate's seismic activity. Yes that is true, elephants not only product audible mating calls but also seismic calls (use of vibration in the ground).
One system is bone conduction, in which the vibrations travel from the toe tips into the foot bones, then up the leg and into the middle ear. The other, somatosensory reception, involves vibration-sensitive cells in the bottom of the foot that send signals to the brain via nerves.
Not only can an elephant hear through seismic activity created by another elephant, one elephant can tell, just by the vibrations, whether the plodding elephant is a friend or foe - or even, perhaps, a potential mate. Ahhh, love.
Scientists have studied this ability to hear with the sense of touch and applied some of their findings to relationships among humans. We all employ a number of senses to determine potential threats, potential love and even your spouse for life. It's so...so elephantine.
Hearing Loss and Relationships
Hearing loss, of course, affects the individual who experiences it. But losing the ability to hear - to gather information about one's surroundings - creates problems for those who live with that individual.
The fact is, hearing loss often leads to a number of problems for the individual and for those around him or her. So, for those who've been putting off a hearing evaluation even though they know there's been a loss of hearing, don't think about yourself. Think about those with whom you live.
People who experience hearing loss often experience other conditions related to that loss of hearing. Rates of depression increase as hearing diminishes. The reason is pretty obvious as the person who loses hearing becomes more and more isolated, removed from family, friends and even daily activities like work or a trip to the mall.
The solution is to take the first step. And if your depression and isolation aren't motivation enough to move you to a hearing health professional, how about thinking about the people around you?
Your family may be more willing to put up with your hearing loss - for a while. But because these are the folks with whom you spend most of your time, shouting and waving arms is going to get tired pretty fast. Your family wants you back. The old you.
But the problems can also extend to other activities like, your job If you're the guy in the conference room cupping his ear discreetly, or the diner who keeps asking "What'd ya say?", your co-workers will quickly notice that your hearing loss has become a workplace liability. You can't produce as much or function as well because of hearing loss.
Today's hearing aid technology is so far ahead of where it was just 10 years ago. Hearing aids are digital. They provide a natural sound, wearing comfort, a basketful of features and complete discretion. No one will even know you wear a hearing aid - unless you want them to. In this case, pick up some ear bling and make a statement to the world.
It's your choice.
Oh, and remember - an elephant never forgets. Neither should you.
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