Did you know that George Washington, our first President and a Founding Father of the United States, lived with hearing loss?
Years of noise exposure while in battle and hunting likely contributed to his hearing loss. Washington would be the first of many who have protected U.S. liberty only to find themselves with less hearing ability over time. Military service often includes the prevalence of loud noises. And while there are protections in place today, it was not always so. Think of sailors, infantry and gunners in close proximity to cannons and guns.
We don’t usually think of independence as a hearing issue, but hearing and independence are most certainly intertwined. In fact, it is personal independence that is threatened when hearing is neglected for too long. That’s because hearing loss is too often accompanied by gradual withdrawal from personal connections—it is simply too difficult to catch all that is going on.
As you think back on your long weekend, remember a veteran and how their hearing was likely compromised in defense of liberty. And as you encounter fireworks and firecrackers and concerts, remember to take steps to preserve your hearing—and your independence.