Forget Something Significant? Memory Loss is Linked to This

Senior couple suffering from hearing loss standing in front of a pink backdrop trying to remember something.

Are you forgetting something? You aren’t imagining it. It really is getting harder to remember things in everyday life. Memory loss seems to advance fairly quickly once it’s noticed. The more you are aware of it, the more incapacitating it is. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?

And no, this isn’t simply a natural part of getting older. There’s always an underlying reason for the loss of the ability to process memories.

For many people that cause is neglected hearing loss. Is your ability to remember being affected by hearing loss? By identifying the cause of your memory loss, you can take steps to slow down its development considerably and, in many cases, bring your memory back.

Here are a few facts to consider.

How neglected hearing loss can contribute to memory loss

There is a link. Cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in people who suffer from hearing loss.
There are complex interrelated reasons for this.

Mental fatigue

Initially, the brain will have to work harder to compensate for hearing loss. You have to make an effort to listen to something. While this came naturally before, it’s now something your brain has to work to process.

It becomes necessary to utilize deductive reasoning. When attempting to hear, you eliminate the unlikely choices to figure out what someone most likely said.

This puts lots of added strain on the brain. It’s particularly stressful when your deductive reasoning skills let you down. The consequence of this can be misconceptions, embarrassment, and sometimes even bitterness.

How we process memory can be significantly impacted by stress. Mental resources that we should be utilizing for memory get tied up when we’re suffering from stress.

And something new starts to happen as hearing loss progresses.

Feeling older

You can start to “feel older” than you actually are when you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves and straining to hear. This can start a downhill spiral in which ideas of “getting old” when you’re actually not become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Social solitude

We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they begin to lose touch with reality. Human beings are created to be social. Even introverts have difficulty when they’re never with others.

A person with untreated hearing loss slowly becomes isolated. It’s harder to talk on the phone. You need people to repeat themselves at social gatherings making them much less enjoyable. Friends and family start to exclude you from discussions. You may be off in space feeling isolated even when you’re with a room full of people. The radio may not even be there to keep you company over time.

It’s just easier to spend more time by yourself. You feel as if you can’t relate to your friends now because you feel older than them even though you’re not.

When your brain isn’t frequently stimulated it becomes difficult to process new information.

Brain atrophy

As somebody who is coping with neglected hearing loss starts to isolate themselves either physically or just mentally, a chain reaction starts in the brain. Regions of the brain aren’t being stimulated anymore. When this occurs, those parts of the brain atrophy and stop functioning.

Our brain functions are very interconnected. Abilities like problem solving, learning, speech, and memory are all related to hearing.

This loss of function in one area of the brain can gradually spread to other brain functions including hearing. Loss of memory is connected to this process.

It’s exactly like the legs of a person who is bedridden. Muscles become weak when they’re sick in bed over a period of time. They could possibly just quit working completely. Learning to walk again might call for physical therapy.

But when it comes to the brain, this damage is much more challenging to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Doctors can see this on brain scans.

How memory loss can be prevented by hearing aids

You’re likely still in the beginning stages of hearing loss if you’re reading this. You may not even barely be aware of it. The great news is that it isn’t the hearing loss that contributes to memory loss.

It’s untreated hearing loss.

Studies have revealed that people with hearing loss who regularly wear their hearing aid have the same risk of developing memory loss as someone of the same age with healthy hearing. The advancement of memory loss was delayed in individuals who started using their hearing aids after noticing symptoms.

As you get older, try to remain connected and active. Keep your memories, memory loss is linked to hearing loss. Don’t dismiss your hearing health. Schedule a hearing test. And consult us about a solution if you’re not using your hearing aid for some reason.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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