How this theory relates to hearing loss
If a tree falls in the forest and you’re not there to hear it, does it make a sound? Does anyone know the definitive answer? Since no one was there to hear the tree fall no one knows if it made a sound or not. Sound is simplified as hearable noise. I am not going to get into the quantum physics that scientists have argued for centuries, but the falling tree does make a sound even if no one is there to hear it because it could have been heard.
This relationship between hearing and sound is that we are unaware of sounds that we cannot hear. If we do not hear the sound, how do we know for sure whether or not it exists?
Just because you didn’t hear your spouse say, “turn the TV down,” doesn’t mean they didn’t say it. I have hundreds of patient’s that come back after wearing their hearing aids for only the first week and say things like, “I have a clock in my bedroom that I never knew still ticked” or “I almost took my car in for repair because I thought my blinker wasn’t working” and “I can finally hear the warning beep on my refrigerator that my wife was always yelling at me about when I kept it open for too long” and so many more examples. My patients have returned with a new realization that they were missing a lot of everyday sounds that they took for granted.
Typically it’s our loved ones that notice hearing loss first. You may have had your significant other or child blame you for not hearing them a few too many times. That’s because they know they said something to you but because you didn’t hear them, you didn’t know they were talking to you, and therefore in your mind, the sound did not exist.
We are surrounded by sounds every minute of every day, some we notice and some we don’t, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t make a sound! Think about it today, what are the sounds around you that you used to hear. Ask yourself, is that sound still there? Can you still hear it? Can anyone else hear it? Maybe the clock isn’t broken, maybe there’s nothing wrong with your car, maybe your son is not mumbling, maybe it’s your hearing.