Which Would You Choose Your Hearing Or Sight?

My ear problems led on to a brief conversation with Jan this afternoon in which I mentioned that if I had to choose, I would rather lose my sight than my hearing. Jan felt very strongly the opposite, she got a little distressed at the thought of losing her sight. My opinion is that though I would miss my sight a lot, my two biggest ‘uses’ of it, reading and computing, could be replaced or at least achieved without sight. But if I lost my hearing there is no way to replace music. I would be really, really upset to know that I could never hear music again. I have probably listened on average to three or four albums a day every day for at least the last four or five years. I currently have around 400 – 500 CDs (counting doubles and triples as individual CDs) in a huge range of styles from classical to punk, jazz to country, easy listening to nu metal, rap to trance, and everything in between. In fact to give you an idea of my musical taste, I have dumped my local CDDB database to this page. There are 480 CDs in that list and it is not complete, but does include CDs I don’t own. As you can see I really would miss music if I had to lose my hearing.
What do you think? Given one of those hypothetical dilemmas; you must choose to keep either your hearing or your sight, which would you keep, and why?

16 thoughts on “Which Would You Choose Your Hearing Or Sight?

  1. It would have to be my hearing.
    I couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to ‘see’ Megan grow up.

    As for not being able to hear your music.
    I thought deaf people can enjoy music.
    Through vibrations?

  2. Like you losing my hearing would be unthinkable. However I do think I would have a hard time putting records onto a record player if I’d lost my sight. Might end up with a few scratched records. I enjoy listening to the radio so much more than watching TV and have done for years now. Been listening to the Exorcist audio at the moment and I can tell it’s much more frightening than the film.

  3. Jeez that is a tough one ! When I was younger I thought like you do now – I would rather go blind (hmm that’s a song title ain’t it ?), but as I’ve grown older, and my eyesight is beginneing to give up on me, I find that the choice becaomes more difficult.

    I hear what you’re saying about music – that was/is my primary motivator for keeping my ears working – being blind would deprive me of an awful lot of other pleasures though.

  4. Personally, I would be afraid to not see what was coming at me than not to hear it. Being afraid
    of the dark a few hours of the day compared to being afraid of the dark every hour of every day!
    Or would that sensation wear off after a few months or years? It is really hard to say if you
    had a choice on which gift you were going to lose, wouldn’t you ultimately choose TASTE!!!

  5. Hi Nickey,
    I understand what you mean about not being able to see what was coming. Still I stick by my choice of keeping my hearing.
    I think I agree that if I could choose any one sense to lose, taste would probably be the first to go.

  6. What are you guys saying?Is there anyone who’s actually lost his sight or hearing?I don’t think it is a joke,and I think on should be thankful for not being obliged to make such a choise!

  7. Hi,
    No it is not a joke, but the thoughts generated from a conversation a couple of years ago when I suffered an ear infection.
    The infection caused me to lose a lot of my hearing temporarily.

    Mike

  8. wow!I didn’t realize that the conversation went on for two years!Sorry, but I wasn’t on a good day, when I wrote that message!Anyway I find the subject interesting, well, I’d keep my hearing too, if I could choose, just because I think you can’t really imagine how a life can be without hearing until you really lose your sense, cause you always hear, you can’t “close your ears” just like you close your eyes. I remember in the school we were talking about the same question with a musician friend of mine and she said, of course, that she’d rather choose her hearing instead of her sight and I thing I agreed…

  9. I would rather loose my sight. Both would be a very bad thing, but if you loose your hearing it is very difficult to communicate with people in person. It would be very lonely. I had a co-worker who was hard of hearing, and people just avoided him instead of even trying to communicate.

  10. Well, I thought about blindness a lot as I am very near-sighted, but it was never really a problem for me as I have 100% of my vision with correction. I think, I would probably be able to cope with both situations (losing my sight or my hearing – it would be tough if I lost both). However, I think it’s easier to get used to not hearing and learning sign language compared to not being able to see at all (some blind people have some vision left, though). Do this test: Cover your eyes, so it’s completely dark around you, try to find some objects in your apartment, try to walk around a room, try to dress yourself, try to eat with fork and/or knife. Why I suggest these things? Well, I was curious and wanted to know what it feels like not to see anything, and I tried to do all these things with my eyes covered or closed. It’s tough!!!!!!! But when you do it for a longer period of time (say you keep your eyes covered for 1 hour) you kind of get used to it and it’s easier to get around. But – as I said – it’s not easy. Not to speak of trying to read braille…

    I would like to know what other people think about this

    wibke.loos@gmail.com

  11. could not live in complete silence, could never be part of conversation, even loose the ability of speech after a while. If I had to choose I’d rather hear the rain then see it…I’ll remember what it looks like.

  12. WELL MIKE I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT MY MOTHER AND MYSELF. FIRST OF ALL I AM DEAF I MY LEFT EAR AND WEAR A HEARING AID. WITHOUT IT I AM TOTALLY DEAF. I LEARN TO DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT I’M DEAF, I TOO ENJOYED LISTENING TO MUSIC ALL MY LIFE ALSO. NOW MY MOTHER IS DEAF IN HER LEFT EAR AND REALLY HARD OF HEARING IN THE RIGHT. JAN 6 2010 SHE HAD A STROKE IN THE LEFT EYE AND IS NOW BLIND IN THAT EYE. SHE WILL PROBABLY WILL BE BLIND IN BOTH EYES EVENTUALLY. THIS A SCARY THING THAT SHE IS GOING THROUGH SO JUST BE THANKFUL IF YOU’RE ABLE TO HEAR OR SEE. AS FAR AS CHOOSING I’D RATHER BE ABLE TO SEE WHERE I’M GOING AND TO WHOMEVER I’M TALKING TO. PEACE OUT!

  13. Hi Lily,

    Sorry, I’ve not replied earlier; I have been busy.

    I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s misfortune. A stroke is a very serious problem and can be devastating to both the sufferer and family.

    Thanks for your message.

    Mike

  14. SO DOES THIS CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT CHOOSING ONE OVER THE OTHER? I WANT TO LEAVE YOU SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.
    ISAIAH:29:18 IN THE DAY THE DEAF WILL HEAR THE SCROLL, AND OUT OF THE GLOOM AND DARKNESS THE EYES OF THE BLIND WILL SEE.
    ISAIAH:35:5
    THEN WHEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND OPENED AND THE DEAF UNSTOPPED.
    MATTHEW-13:15
    FOR THIS PEOPLE’S HEART HAS BECOME CALLOUSED, THEY HARDLY HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES. OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES,AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, I WOULD HEAL THEM.

    I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM BECAUSE I AM VERY LOST WITHOUT MY HEARING AND I SO MUCH LOVE MUSICS TOO.BUT WHATEVER HAPPEN I KNOW IN MY HEART I WILL NEVER FORGET THE SOUND IT WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEAD. PEACE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. I don’t think it does change my mind.

    Although I love the things I see – I love beautiful art, beautiful photography, I love to see the natural world around us, and most of all I love watching people.

    But music is the thing that moves me the most. Since I first wrote this, a few years years ago, my music collection has grown and grown. My iPod currently has more than 13,000 songs on it. And that’s not my whole collection! I probably listen to 80 – 120 different songs a day when I’m working.

    As for memory, alas my sensory memory (or rather recall) is very poor. So I cannot recreate images or sounds in my head (or taste or smell, etc.) I know the memories are there because I recognise things, but they do not come to mind either on demand or unbidden. Whichever sense I lost it would be quite devastating and irreplaceable, but I would still choose to keep my hearing.

    Mike

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