Feel like you may be forgetting something crucial? You’re not imagining it. It really is getting more difficult to remember things in everyday life. Loss of memory seems to develop rather quickly once it’s detected. The more aware you are of it, the more incapacitating it becomes. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?
If you think that this is just a normal part of the aging process, you would be wrong. Losing the ability to process memories always has a root cause.
Ignored hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your ability to remember being affected by hearing loss? You can delay the development of memory loss significantly and perhaps even get some back if you are aware of what’s causing it.
Here’s what you should know.
How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss
There is a relationship. As a matter of fact, researchers have found that those with neglected hearing loss are 24% more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other extreme cognitive problems.
There are complicated interrelated reasons for this.
Initially, the brain will need to work harder to overcome hearing loss. Listening to things takes added effort. While this came naturally in the past, it’s now something your mind has to work to process.
It becomes necessary to activate deductive reasoning. When attempting to hear, you remove the unlikely possibilities to figure out what someone probably said.
Your brain is under additional strain as a result. It’s especially stressful when your deductive reasoning skills lead you astray. This can cause embarrassment, misconceptions, and even bitterness.
Stress has a major effect on how we process memory. Mental resources that we should be using for memory get tied up when we’re experiencing stress.
And something new starts to happen as hearing loss progresses.
You can begin to “feel older” than you actually are when you’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said and struggling to hear. If you’re constantly thinking that you’re getting old, it can come to be a self fulfilling prophecy.
We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they begin to lose touch with reality. We humans are social creatures. When they’re never with others, even introverts have a hard time.
A person with disregarded hearing loss gradually becomes secluded. It’s more difficult to talk on the phone. You need to have people repeat themselves at social gatherings making them a lot less enjoyable. You begin to be excluded from conversations by friends and family. Even when you’re in a room with lots of people, you might space out and feel alone. The radio might not even be there to keep you company after a while.
Being on your own just seems easier. You feel like you can’t relate to your friends anymore because you feel older than them even though you’re not.
When your brain isn’t frequently stimulated it becomes hard to process new information.
A chain reaction commences in the brain when a person starts to physically or mentally isolate themselves. There’s no more stimulation going to parts of the brain. They stop functioning.
There’s a high level of interconnectivity between the various parts of the brain. Hearing is linked to speech, memory, learning, problem-solving, and other abilities.
This loss of function in one area of the brain can gradually move to other brain functions like hearing. Memory loss is connected to this process.
It’s analogous to how the legs become atrophied when someone is bedridden for a long period of time. When they are sick in bed for an extended time, leg muscles become really weak. They may possibly just quit working completely. Learning to walk again may require physical therapy.
But when it comes to the brain, this damage is a great deal more difficult to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Doctors can see this on brain scans.
How memory loss can be stopped by hearing aids
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably still in the early stages of memory loss. It might be hardly noticeable. It isn’t the hearing loss itself that is contributing to memory loss, and that’s the good news.
It’s neglected hearing loss.
In this research, individuals who were wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis were no more likely to have memory loss than a person around the same age who doesn’t have hearing loss. The progression of memory loss was slowed in people who began wearing their hearing aids after experiencing symptoms.
Stay connected and active as you get older. Keep your memories, memory loss is connected to hearing loss. Pay attention to the health of your hearing. Schedule a hearing exam. And if there’s any reason you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, please consult us about treatment options – we can help!