Forgetting Essential Information? This May be Why

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

Are you forgetting something? You aren’t imagining it. It really is getting more difficult to remember things in daily life. Once you notice it, memory loss seems to progress quickly. It becomes more incapacitating the more aware of it you become. Most people don’t realize that there’s a link between loss of memory and loss of hearing.

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

For many people that cause is untreated hearing loss. Is your hearing impacting your ability to remember? By knowing the cause of your memory loss, you can take measures to delay its development considerably and, in many instances, bring back your memory.

This is what you should know.

How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss

They aren’t unrelated. Cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in people who have hearing loss.
There are complex interrelated reasons for this.

Mental exhaustion

Initially, the brain will have to work overtime to compensate for hearing loss. You have to strain to hear things. Now, your brain needs to work hard where in the past it just happened naturally.

It becomes necessary to activate deductive reasoning. You try to determine what people most likely said by removing unlikely possibilities.

This puts lots of added strain on the brain. And when you can’t accurately use those deductive reasoning abilities it can be really stressful. The consequence of this can be misunderstandings, embarrassment, and sometimes even resentment.

How we process memory can be seriously impacted by stress. When we’re stressed out, we’re tying up brain resources that we should be using for memory.

As the hearing loss worsens, something new takes place.

Feeling older

You can start to “feel older” than you 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.

Social withdrawal

We’ve all heard the trope of someone who’s so lonely that they start to lose touch with reality. We humans are social creatures. Even people who are introverted struggle when they’re never around other people.

A person with neglected hearing loss slowly becomes secluded. It’s more difficult to have phone conversations. You need to have people repeat themselves at social events making them much less pleasant. You begin to be excluded from conversations by family and friends. You may be off in space feeling secluded even when you’re in a room full of people. Eventually, you might not even have the radio to keep you company.

It’s just better to spend more time alone. You feel as if 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

As a person who is coping with neglected hearing loss starts to isolate themselves either physically or even mentally, a chain reaction starts in the brain. Regions of the brain are no longer being stimulated. When this takes place, those parts of the brain atrophy and stop working.

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

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

It’s similar to how the legs become atrophied when a person is bedridden for a long time. Muscles become weak when they’re sick in bed over a long time period of time. They may possibly just quit working completely. They might need to have physical therapy to learn to walk again.

But when it comes to the brain, this damage is a lot more challenging to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Doctors can see this on brain scans.

How a hearing aid can prevent memory loss

If you’re reading this, then you’re still in the early stages of memory loss. It may be hardly noticeable. 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 these studies, those who were wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis were no more likely to have memory loss than someone around the same age who has healthy hearing. The progression of memory loss was slowed in people who started 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. Get your hearing evaluated. And if there’s any reason you aren’t using your hearing aid, please talk to 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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