Forgot Something Significant? Memory Loss is Linked to This

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

Are you forgetting something? It isn’t your imagination. Remembering everyday things is becoming harder and harder. Loss of memory seems to advance fairly quickly once it’s detected. It becomes more debilitating the more you become aware of it. Did you know memory loss is connected to hearing loss?

And no, this isn’t just a natural occurrence of getting older. There’s always an underlying reason 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 identifying the cause of your memory loss, you can take measures to delay its advancement significantly and, in many instances, bring your memory back.

Here’s what you should know.

How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss

They’re not unrelated. Cognitive problems, like Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in people who have hearing loss.
The reasons for this increased risk are multi-fold.

Mental exhaustion

At first, hearing loss causes the brain to work extra hard. You have to struggle to hear things. While this came naturally in the past, it’s now something your mind needs to strain to process.

You begin to use your deductive reasoning abilities. You attempt to figure out what people probably said by removing unlikely choices.

Your brain is under additional strain as a result. And when you can’t accurately use those deductive reasoning skills it can be particularly stressful. This can lead to embarrassment, misunderstandings, and even resentment.

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

And something new starts to happen as hearing loss worsens.

Feeling older

This strain of having to work overtime to hear and needing people to repeat themselves makes a person “feel older” than they actually are. This can begin a downhill spiral in which ideas of “getting old” when you’re still young become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Social isolation

We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they begin to lose touch with reality. Human beings are created to be social. When they’re never with other people, even introverts struggle.

Neglected hearing loss slowly isolates a person. It’s more difficult to have phone conversations. You need to have people repeat themselves at social functions making them a lot less enjoyable. Friends and family start to exclude you from conversations. You might be off in space feeling secluded even when you’re in a room full of people. In the long run, you may not even have the radio to keep you company.

It’s just easier to spend more time alone. 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 regularly stimulated it becomes difficult to process new information.

Brain atrophy

As somebody who is coping with untreated hearing loss begins to isolate themselves either physically or just mentally, a chain reaction commences in the brain. Parts of the brain aren’t being stimulated anymore. When this happens, those regions of the brain atrophy and stop working.

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

This lack of function in one region of the brain can slowly spread to other brain functions including hearing. Memory loss is connected to this process.

It’s similar to how the legs become atrophied when a person is bedridden for an extended time. When they are sick in bed for a long time, leg muscles get very weak. They may quit working entirely. They might need to get physical therapy to learn to walk again.

But with 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 a hearing aid can stop memory loss

If you’re reading this, then you’re still in the early stages of memory loss. You might not even hardly notice it. It’s not 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 of a similar age who doesn’t have hearing loss. The advancement of memory loss was slowed in individuals who began using their hearing aids after noticing symptoms.

Stay connected and active as you get older. Keep your memories, memory loss is connected to hearing loss. Don’t disregard your hearing health. Get your hearing evaluated. And get in touch with us about a solution if you’re not wearing your hearing aid for some reason.

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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