Are you forgetting something? It isn’t your imagination. It really is getting more difficult to remember things in everyday life. Memory loss seems to develop fairly quickly once it’s noticed. It becomes more debilitating the more aware of it you become. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?
And no, this isn’t simply a natural part of aging. Losing the ability to process memories always has a root cause.
Ignored hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your ability to remember being impacted by hearing loss? By identifying the cause of your loss of memory, you can take steps to slow down its development substantially and, in many instances, bring back your memory.
Here are some facts to consider.
How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss
There is a link. As a matter of fact, researchers have found that those with untreated hearing loss are 24% more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other profound cognitive problems.
There are complicated interrelated reasons for this.
Initially, the brain will need to work overtime to overcome hearing loss. You have to strain to hear things. Now, your brain has to work extra hard where before it just occurred naturally.
It becomes necessary to activate deductive reasoning. When attempting to hear, you eliminate the unlikely choices to determine what someone probably said.
Your brain is under additional strain because of this. It’s especially stressful when your deductive reasoning abilities lead you astray. This can cause embarrassment, misunderstandings, and even bitterness.
Stress has a major impact on how we process memory. When we’re stressed out, we’re tying up brain resources that we should be utilizing for memory.
As the hearing loss progresses, something new takes place.
This strain of having to work overtime to hear and needing people to repeat themselves makes a person “feel older” than they actually are. This can begin a downhill spiral in which thoughts of “getting old” when you’re still young become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We’ve all heard the trope of someone who’s so lonely that they begin to lose touch with reality. Human beings are created to be social. When they’re never with other people, even introverts struggle.
A person with neglected hearing loss gradually becomes isolated. It’s harder to talk on the phone. You need people to repeat what they said at social events making them much less pleasant. You start to be excluded from conversations by family and friends. You may be off in space feeling separated even when you’re in a room full of people. Eventually, you might not even have the radio to keep you company.
Being alone just seems simpler. You feel older than others your age and don’t feel that you can relate to them anymore.
When your brain isn’t frequently stimulated it becomes hard to process new information.
As a person who is coping with untreated hearing loss starts to isolate themselves either physically or even mentally, a chain reaction commences in the brain. There’s no more stimulation reaching regions of the brain. When this happens, those regions of the brain atrophy and quit functioning.
Our brain functions are extremely interconnected. Hearing is connected with speech, memory, learning, problem-solving, and other abilities.
This loss of function in one area of the brain can slowly spread to other brain functions including hearing. Loss of memory is linked to this process.
It’s similar to how the legs become atrophied when a person is bedridden for an extended period of time. Muscles get weak when they’re sick in bed over a long time period of time. They may stop working altogether. Learning to walk again might call for physical therapy.
But with the brain, this damage is a lot more challenging to rehabilitate. The brain actually begins to shrink. Doctors can observe this on brain scans.
How a hearing aid can prevent memory loss
You’re probably still in the beginning stages of hearing loss if you’re reading this. You may not even barely be aware of it. It isn’t the hearing loss itself that is contributing to memory loss, and that’s the good news.
It’s the fact that the hearing loss is neglected.
In this research, those who were wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis were no more likely to have memory loss than somebody around the same age who doesn’t have hearing loss. The advancement of memory loss was slowed in individuals who started using their hearing aids after experiencing symptoms.
As you age, try to remain connected and active. If you want to keep your memory intact you should understand that it’s closely related to hearing loss. Pay attention to the health of your hearing. Schedule a hearing exam. And if there’s any reason you’re not using your hearing aid, please consult us about treatment options – we can help!