Breathing wise producing vocal sound, hearing and feeling the voice is quite helpful in measuring the change in the breathing. So I often use the voice or certain skills using the voice as a measure of breathing development progress.
Hearing wise, sometimes too much emphasis on hearing is attributed to the ears and not the rest of the body. For those that can hear well, not well or at all, vocal pitch control can be augmented or even replaced by feeling vibrations in the body.
One of my teachers CarlStough who passed away in 2001 could teach a completely deaf person to sing, on key. I was recently presented with an MD with 2 cochlear implants who could not hear or feel her voice well enough to better control pitch and resonance; thus it was often very shrill and off-putting.
I taught her to feel her voice with and without her implants connected and we got her to drop the pitch and added a lot of resonance. The results delighted her husband and some patients who too often had interpreted the shrillness as screaming and tensed up because of it.
Poor hearing, due to straining to hear, causes tension (and reduction of vibrations being able to travel throughout the body) and this tension gets transferred into the hearing (and throat) area as we strain to hear.
Straining to hear may also cause poor breathing as straining is also a form of tension. So poor hearing can invite restricted breathing and restricted breathing can invite poor hearing and as well shorten our lifespan. We are holistic beings with one part influencing the other part far more than many realize.
The ease and resonance of the voice or lack thereof is one way to measure breathing. The clarity and sustain of the voice is a way to measure becoming more efficient in breathing. Efficiency in most things often makes them easier to occur. The essence of genius is simplicity.
A study out of Germany shows that early detection of hearing impairment is possible by listening to a baby's cry. To me, the sound is simply winded passing membranes. "Expert listeners" can detect hearing impairment and its severity through melody perceived sound, and rhythm of the cry." Moller, et. al, (1999). Speech and Communication. vol. 28(3), 175-193.
The relationship of breathing to hearing loss has always intrigued me. I have worn hearing aids for nearly 40 years. Lately, I have noticed that at the end of the day when I am very tired, my hearing is not as good.
I do not wear glasses or contacts but my eyesight as well is not as good as earlier in the day. Yet on an easy un-stressful day neither hearing or eye sight is effected as much. This may also coincide with a fullness in my ears (probably allergies) but sometimes not.
The eyesight is easier to measure as the feedback loop is at the speed of light in the form of blurriness. The hearing is harder to measure but I learned to use noise levels while urinating in the toilet.
I was absolutely certain my hearing was getting worse and no test would reveal that. The toilet trick is gross but at least consistent and I also know that many hearing tests are as much as ten percent inaccurate though this is greatly improving with advanced cochlear implant technology.
Side effects of prescription drugs may add to the problem. Dysfunctional breathing and related hearing loss or tendency towards that may have many hidden aspects that are overlooked. Go here and see if you can connect tension, stress, environmental, lifestyle or biochemical dysfunction that might be slight to significantly related to hearing loss.
The constant struggle to hear invites tightening in the abdominal area that Thomas Hanna of Somatics called the Startle Response. Anxiety causes constriction of muscles and blood vessels. This restriction impedes circulation and nerve force. Depending upon the tensions in the rest of the body and how they travel up into the head and jaw area.
Even your ankle muscles can restrict your breathing and increase jaw, neck, forehead tensions and even headaches. When we chronically hold our breath or breathe shallowly we increase the possibility of tensions throughout the body. This tensions may invite or worsen hearing loss. this is why I developed the Optimal Breathing Window as demonstrated n our Optimal Breathing Kits.
When one is straining to hear one might seem harsh to others. Tension makes them overreact sometimes. But when they hear without straining, the breathing relaxes and tension leaves the body. WHAT a relief.
This gives me some insight why some deaf people are not interested in hearing and are happy in their silent state of being. Sound or the capturing of sound to hear often causes tension. They have learned to live with deafness, and to strain is counter-intuitive for them at that point.
That is not to say that if they all of a sudden could hear effortlessly and in a relatively quiet place for starters that they would not be delighted but at least we can better respect their experience and not try to foist hearing upon them when they do not want it.
How much of that hearing issue is caused the magnification of straining to hear that stems from poor breathing? How much of that poor breathing hinders hearing, hampers wellness and shortens lifespan? I want to encourage more studies related to the connection between breathing and hearing and hearing and breathing.
About breathing and hearing aids.
After 35+ years of wearing hearing aids and studying breathing development, I have come to the conclusion that the hearing aid technicians vary widely in their knowledge and efficacy. Audigy is a group of 50 state USA based audiologists who say they hold themselves to the highest of standards.
I had a $30,000 non insured bone conduction Esteem implant but it took so long to work well and then they wanted to charge me $6,000.00 every 5 years for a new battery. Cochlear implant technology is fast improving. Medel is a good choice for many.
In closing, always stay in balance as best you can. As breathing pattern disorder can confuse anybody mind, it is best to address that part of any long-term conclusions about many factors of life (breath is life), are arrived at.
more about breathing development.