National Geographic : 1960 Dec
What did the explorer miss most in the polar vastness? IMAGINE-if you can-a world in which you'd never hear a single familiar sound. An explorer of the Antarctic once lived alone for weeks in this kind of silence. And later he wrote that he missed nothing so much as the voices of friends, the songs of birds-and the countless other sounds that we hear daily. If your hearing is good now, how can you keep it that way? Equally important, what can you do to protect your children's hearing? Fortunately, most symptoms of ear trouble in adults are easily recognized. They include strain ing to hear low-pitched conversations, feelings of fullness or congestion, ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears. Any one of these symptoms should be investigated by your physician. It's more difficult to tell when a child's hearing is affected. But there are signs that should alert parents to trouble. Inattention, a tendency to shy ness, a desire to be alone and inability to pro nounce words properly-all these may indicate a hearing difficulty. Should any of these signs appear, a child's hear ing should be tested. Moreover, it's advisable to have a child's ears examined after measles, chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, swollen adenoids and a sore throat from any cause-even though there are no symptoms of ear trouble. Ear infections are no longer the serious problem they once were-thanks to the antibiotic drugs. And surgery is of great benefit to many people in middle and later life afflicted with chronic progres sive deafness. Those who are hard of hearing are in great need of patience and understanding. Without it they are likely to feel the loneliness of the Antarctic explorer. Speaking slowly and distinctly is a great help. Fingers should be kept away from the lips since many deafened people unconsciously depend on some lip reading. Your best protection against ear troubles at all ages lies in regular tests of your hearing and prompt treatment by a physician at the first sign of any difficulty in hearing. Metropolitan THE LIGHT Life T INSURANCE COMPANY NVER A MUTUAL COMPANY 1 Madison Ave., New York 10, N. Y.