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

Are you forgetting something? You’re not imagining it. It really is getting harder to remember things in daily life. Loss of memory seems to advance fairly quickly once it’s detected. The more you are aware of it, the more incapacitating it becomes. The majority of people aren’t aware that there’s a connection between memory loss and hearing loss.

And no, this isn’t just a natural occurrence of aging. There’s always an underlying reason for the loss of the ability to process memories.

Ignored hearing loss is often that reason. Is your memory being affected by hearing loss? By determining the cause of your loss of memory, you can take steps to slow down its development substantially and, in many instances, bring your memory back.

Here’s what you need to know.

How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss

They’re not unrelated. Cognitive problems, including Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
There are complicated interrelated reasons for this.

Mental exhaustion

Initially, the brain will have to work harder to overcome hearing loss. Listening to things demands extra effort. Now, your brain needs to work hard where before it just happened naturally.

You begin to use your deductive reasoning skills. When trying to hear, you eliminate the unlikely possibilities to determine what someone probably said.

Your brain is under additional strain as a result. And when you’re unable to accurately use those deductive reasoning abilities it can be especially stressful. This can result in embarrassment, misunderstandings, and even bitterness.

Stress has a huge effect on how we process memory. Mental resources that we should be utilizing for memory get tied up when we’re dealing with stress.

As the hearing loss advances, something new occurs.

Feeling older

This strain of having to work harder to hear and asking people to repeat what they said makes a person “feel older” than they are. If you’re always thinking that you’re getting old, it can come to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Social solitude

We’re all familiar with that narrative of somebody whose loneliness causes them to lose touch with the world around them. We humans are social creatures. Even introverts struggle when they’re never around other people.

A person with disregarded hearing loss gradually becomes isolated. It’s more difficult to talk on the phone. Social gatherings are less enjoyable because you have to ask people to repeat themselves. You start to be excluded from conversations by friends and family. Even when you’re in a room with lots of people, you may zone out and feel secluded. Eventually, you may not even have the radio to keep you company.

Being on your own just seems simpler. You feel older than others your age and don’t feel like you can relate to them now.

When your brain isn’t regularly stimulated it becomes hard to process new information.

Brain atrophy

As a person with neglected hearing loss begins to isolate themselves either physically or just mentally, a chain reaction commences in the brain. Parts of the brain are no longer being stimulated. They quit working.

Our brain functions are extremely interconnected. Hearing is linked to speech, memory, learning, problem-solving, and other abilities.

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

It’s just like the legs of a person who is bedridden. Muscles get weak when they’re sick in bed over a period of time. They may quit working entirely. Learning to walk again may require physical therapy.

But with the brain, this damage is a great deal more challenging to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. 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. You may not even hardly notice it. It’s not the hearing loss itself that is leading to memory loss, and that’s the good news.

It’s neglected hearing loss.

Studies have revealed that individuals that have hearing loss who regularly wear their hearing aid have the same risk of developing memory loss as somebody of the same age with healthy hearing. People who started wearing hearing aids after symptoms appeared were able to slow the progression considerably.

As you get older, try to remain connected and active. Keep your memories, memory loss is connected to hearing loss. Don’t ignore your hearing health. Schedule a hearing exam. And if there’s any reason you’re not using your hearing aid, please speak with us about solutions – we can help!

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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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