Are you forgetting something? It isn’t your imagination. It really is getting harder to remember things in daily life. Once you notice it, memory loss seems to progress quickly. The more you are aware of it, the more incapacitating it becomes. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?
And no, this isn’t just a normal part of aging. Losing the ability to process memories always has an underlying reason.
Ignored hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your ability to remember being impacted by hearing loss? By determining the cause of your memory loss, you can take measures to slow its development substantially and, in many cases, bring your memory back.
Here are some facts to think about.
How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss
They’re not unrelated. Cognitive issues, like Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
The reasons for this increased risk are multi-fold.
Initially, the brain will need to work overtime to overcome hearing loss. You have to make an effort to hear things. While this came naturally in the past, it’s now something your brain needs to work to process.
You start to use your deductive reasoning abilities. You attempt to figure out what people probably said by eliminating unlikely choices.
Your brain is under added strain because of this. And when you can’t accurately use those deductive reasoning abilities it can be especially stressful. The consequence of this can be misunderstandings, embarrassment, and sometimes even resentment.
Stress has a significant effect on how we process memory. Mental resources that we should be utilizing for memory get tied up when we’re dealing with stress.
And something new begins to happen as hearing loss advances.
This strain of having to work harder to hear and asking people to repeat themselves makes a person “feel older” than they are. If you’re always thinking that you’re getting old, it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.
We’ve all heard the trope of somebody who’s so lonely that they begin to lose touch with reality. Humans are social creatures. When they’re never with others, even introverts struggle.
A person with disregarded hearing loss gradually becomes secluded. Talking on the phone becomes a chore. You need people to repeat what they said at social functions making them much less pleasant. Friends and family start to exclude you from discussions. Even when you’re in a room with lots of people, you might space out and feel secluded. Eventually, you may not even have the radio to keep you company.
It’s just better to spend more time alone. You feel older than others your age and don’t feel like you can relate to them now.
This regular lack of mental stimulation makes it more difficult for the brain to process new information.
As somebody with neglected hearing loss starts to seclude themselves either physically or just mentally, a chain reaction starts in the brain. Parts of the brain aren’t being stimulated anymore. They quit working.
Our brain functions are extremely interconnected. Skills like problem solving, learning, speech, and memory are all related to hearing.
This lack of function in one region of the brain can slowly move to other brain functions including hearing. Memory loss is linked to this process.
It’s just like the legs of a person who is bedridden. When they’re sick in bed for a long time, leg muscles become very weak. They may possibly just quit working completely. Learning to walk again could require physical therapy.
But with the brain, this damage is much more challenging to rehabilitate. The brain actually starts to shrink. Brain Scans reveal this shrinkage.
How a hearing aid can prevent memory loss
You’re likely still in the early stages of hearing loss if you’re reading this. It may be hardly noticeable. The good news is that it isn’t the hearing loss that contributes to memory loss.
It’s the fact that the hearing loss is neglected.
In this research, people who were using their hearing aids on a regular basis were no more likely to have memory loss than somebody around the same age who has healthy hearing. Those who began using hearing aids after symptoms began were able to delay the progression substantially.
As you get older, try to stay connected and active. Keep your memories, memory loss is linked to hearing loss. Don’t disregard your hearing health. Schedule a hearing test. And consult us about a solution if you’re not using your hearing aid for some reason.