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Last year, while snowshoeing for the first time in the frigid outdoors near Stowe Mountain Resort, I stopped on the side of the trail for a rest.

As I waited, I started noticing all kinds of beautiful little details. Most obvious of course, was the gorgeous view of the distant, snow-capped peaks.

But as I started to really pay attention, what struck me most were the sounds. The hiss of the wind in the trees, the leaves shivering on their limbs, the crisp crunch of boots on the trail. Everything was dampened by the snow. Quiet and peaceful, yet audibly alive and constantly shifting.

Then as a little experiment, I plugged my ears. Gone were the rustling leaves, the voices of my friends and the tiny creaks of towering pines. The pleasant humming quiet was replaced by utter silence.

I could still enjoy the view, sure, but my experience was completely altered. I imagined as I often do, how it would feel to live like that all the time.

To have an aspect of human experience closed off to me by hearing loss.

To never know the unique contemplative feeling that comes over me when listening to the muted music of a forest draped in snow.

The fact is, hearing loss can do more than isolate us from our loved ones. It can do more than make it hard to hear the TV. It can fundamentally restrict our everyday experience of the world around us and drain the color from our most precious moments.

I have a patient who’s an avid birdwatcher. Before I met him, I never used to pay much attention to the chittering and chirping of our feathered friends. But to him, the nuances of birdsong are an essential part of life.

So much so in fact, that when he came in the other day, he brought a recording of a particular bird so I could adjust his hearing aids to it.

Now he can listen to the full, complex range of his favorite birds as they sing in the trees.

The sense of hearing doesn’t often get the attention it deserves, but it’s a vital component of our everyday lives.

It brings us beauty, communication, connection and deepens the world around us in ways we tend not to notice until it’s gone.

But you don’t have to let hearing loss bar you from fully living your life. Give me a call at 617-934-6987 today, and rediscover the full breadth of beauty that hearing brings to your everyday!