By Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS*
Many people, due to the commercialization of the Easter Holiday, think of Easter Bunnies. Since bunnies are generally small animals and very vulnerable to the dangerous environment they live in, they were designed with big floppy ears. These beautiful long ears don’t just make them look good, but they provide an outstanding hearing ability. They can hear sounds that are almost two miles away. (I don’t think I would hear a coyote 2 miles away.) Those same ears also play an important part in regulating a rabbit’s body temperature. Making up around 12% of their total body surface, the ears act as the major area for heat loss which is vital, in warmer climates and seasons, as bunnies aren’t well equipped to release heat in other ways.
Then of course, there are the Baby Chicks. Did you know that baby chicks can hear outside noises while still inside the shell? This is how some songbirds learn their song. Like humans talk to their babies in the womb, ducks and chickens speak to their eggs so that when they hatch they recognize their parents’ voices. Scientists have found that Zebra Finch parents have a special song they sing to their eggs to warn them if the weather is getting hot. When sung it results in earlier hatching, producing smaller babies who find it easier to keep cool. How cool is that?
While presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) seems inevitable for humans, chickens have the remarkable ability to regrow damaged hearing cells. They get to enjoy their favorite sounds for life. Did you know that if commercial egg farmers play classical music for their chickens to listen to, they lay more and larger eggs? (I didn’t know this either until I googled Easter and Hearing.) Scientists have been studying birds to figure out how they rejuvenate their damaged hair cells to see if they can find a way for humans to do the same.
With Easter, of course we can’t forget the chocolate. Ears love chocolate! Dark chocolate is the best because it contains zinc and magnesium which help protect ears from age-related hearing loss and noise-related damage. Chocolate also boosts the immune system to keep infections away.
Now that you are thinking about hearing and Easter, pay attention to what you are missing! Can you hear your Pastor teach about the Easter Story? Is the conversation with your loved ones over Easter dinner difficult to follow? If you are disappointed that your being served SPAM for dinner instead of HAM, you just may want to get your hearing checked.
Welsch Hearing Aid Company of Sheboygan has been offering FREE hearing screenings, demonstrations, and consultations since 1965. Call 1-800-924-2101 to schedule your appointment.
Information for this article came from: https://www.hearing.com.au/easter-ears/