Are you forgetting something? You aren’t imagining it. Remembering day-to-day things is getting more and more difficult. Loss of memory seems to advance rather quickly once it’s detected. The more aware you are of it, the more debilitating it is. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?
And no, this isn’t simply a normal part of getting older. There’s always a root cause for the loss of the ability to process memories.
For many that cause is untreated hearing loss. Is your ability to remember being affected by hearing loss? By determining the cause of your loss of memory, you can take steps to delay its advancement significantly and, in many cases, bring back your memory.
This is what you need to know.
How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss
They aren’t unrelated. In fact, scientists have found that people with neglected hearing loss are 24% more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other severe cognitive issues.
There are complicated interrelated reasons for this.
Initially, the brain will need to work harder to compensate for hearing loss. Listening to things requires extra 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 determine what someone most likely said.
Your brain is under additional strain as a result. And when you can’t accurately use those deductive reasoning abilities it can be really stressful. This can lead to embarrassment, misconceptions, and even bitterness.
Stress has a significant effect on how we process memory. Mental resources that we should be using for memory get tied up when we’re dealing with stress.
And something new begins to occur as hearing loss progresses.
This strain of having to work harder to hear and needing people to repeat themselves makes a person “feel older” than they actually are. If you’re constantly 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 start to lose touch with reality. We humans are social creatures. When they’re never with other people, even introverts have a hard time.
A person with disregarded hearing loss slowly becomes secluded. It’s more difficult to talk on the phone. You need people to repeat what they said at social events making them much less pleasant. You begin to be excluded from conversations by friends and family. You may be off in space feeling isolated even when you’re in a room full of people. The radio might not even be there to keep you company over time.
Being alone just seems simpler. You feel as if you can’t relate to your friends anymore 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.
A chain reaction starts in the brain when somebody begins to physically or mentally isolate themselves. There’s no more stimulation going to regions of the brain. They quit working.
There’s a high degree of interconnectivity between the different parts of the brain. Abilities like problem solving, learning, speech, and memory are all connected to hearing.
There will typically be a slow spread of this functional atrophy to other brain activity, like hearing, which is also linked to memory.
It’s just like the legs of a person who is bedridden. When they’re sick in bed for a long time, leg muscles get very weak. They may possibly just quit working completely. Learning to walk again might require physical therapy.
But when it comes to the brain, this damage is a lot more difficult to rehabilitate. The brain actually starts to shrink. Doctors can observe this on brain scans.
How memory loss can be stopped by hearing aids
You’re most likely still in the beginning stages of hearing loss if you’re reading this. It might be hardly noticeable. It isn’t the hearing loss itself that is leading to memory loss, and that’s the good news.
It’s untreated hearing loss.
Research has revealed that individuals that have hearing loss who regularly use their hearing aid have the same chance of developing memory loss as someone of the same age with healthy hearing. The advancement of memory loss was delayed in individuals who started wearing their hearing aids after noticing symptoms.
As you age, try to remain connected and active. If you want to keep your memory intact you should recognize that it’s closely related to hearing loss. Pay attention to the health of your hearing. Get your hearing evaluated. And consult us about a solution if you’re not wearing your hearing aid for some reason.