Forgetting Essential Information? This Might be Why

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

Feel like you may be forgetting something crucial? It’s not your imagination. It really is getting harder to remember things in everyday life. Once you become aware of it, loss of memory seems to advance quickly. It becomes more incapacitating the more you become aware of it. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?

And no, this isn’t just a normal occurrence of getting older. There’s always a root cause for the loss of the ability to process memories.

Ignored hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your hearing affecting your ability to remember? By knowing the cause of your loss of memory, you can take steps to slow down its advancement considerably and, in many instances, bring your memory back.

Here are some facts to consider.

How untreated hearing loss can lead to memory loss

They’re not unrelated. In fact, scientists have found that people who have neglected hearing loss are 24% more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other profound cognitive issues.
The reasons for this increased risk are multi-fold.

Mental exhaustion

Initially, the brain will have to work harder to overcome hearing loss. Listening to things takes additional effort. Now, your brain needs to work hard where in the past it just happened naturally.

It becomes necessary to utilize deductive reasoning. When attempting to listen, you remove the unlikely possibilities to determine what someone probably said.

Your brain is under extra strain as a result. It’s particularly stressful when your deductive reasoning skills let you down. This can result in embarrassment, misconceptions, and even resentment.

How we process memory can be seriously affected by stress. Mental resources that we should be using for memory get tied up when we’re suffering from stress.

As the hearing loss progresses, something new takes place.

Feeling older

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

Social withdrawal

We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they start to lose touch with reality. Human beings are meant to be social. When they’re never with other people, even introverts have a hard time.

A person with untreated hearing loss gradually becomes secluded. Talking on the phone becomes a chore. Social get-togethers are not so enjoyable because you need to ask people to repeat what they said. Family and friends begin to exclude you from discussions. Even when you’re in a setting with lots of people, you may zone out and feel alone. The radio may not even be there to keep you company over time.

It’s just better to spend more time alone. You feel like you can’t relate to your friends now because you feel older than them even though you’re not.

This regular lack of mental stimulation makes it harder for the brain to process new information.

Brain atrophy

A chain reaction commences in the brain when somebody begins to physically or mentally isolate themselves. Parts of the brain are no longer being stimulated. They quit working.

Our brain functions are extremely interconnected. Skills like problem solving, learning, speech, and memory are all connected to hearing.

There will normally be a slow spread of this functional atrophy to other brain activity, like hearing, which is also connected to memory.

It’s analogous to how the legs become atrophied when a person is bedridden for an extended time. When they’re sick in bed for a long time, leg muscles become really weak. They could possibly just stop working completely. Learning to walk again may call for physical therapy.

But the brain is different. Once it goes down this slippery slope, it’s difficult to undo the damage. The brain actually starts to shrink. Doctors can observe this on brain scans.

How memory loss can be prevented by hearing aids

If you’re reading this, then you’re still in the beginning stages of memory loss. It might be hardly noticeable. It’s not the hearing loss itself that is leading to memory loss, and that’s the good news.

It’s untreated hearing loss.

In this research, individuals who were wearing their hearing aids regularly were no more likely to have memory loss than somebody of a similar age who has healthy hearing. People who began using hearing aids after symptoms appeared were able to slow the progression considerably.

As you age, try to remain connected and active. Keep your memories, memory loss is linked to hearing loss. Be mindful of the health of your hearing. Schedule a hearing test. And if there’s any reason you’re not wearing your hearing aid, please speak with us about solutions – we can help!

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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