Feel like you may be forgetting something crucial? It isn’t your imagination. Remembering day-to-day things is getting more and more difficult. Loss of memory seems to develop fairly quickly once it’s detected. The more aware you are of it, the more debilitating it is. Did you know memory loss is connected to hearing loss?
If you believe that this is just a normal part of the aging process, you would be wrong. Losing the ability to process memories always has an underlying reason.
For many that cause is neglected hearing loss. Is your hearing affecting your ability to remember? You can slow the development of memory loss considerably and perhaps even get some back if you know what’s causing it.
Here are a few facts to think about.
How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss
They aren’t unrelated. In fact, researchers have found that people with neglected hearing loss are 24% more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other severe cognitive issues.
The reasons for this higher risk are multi-fold.
Initially, the brain will need to work overtime to overcome hearing loss. You have to struggle to hear things. Now, your brain has to work hard where in the past it just happened naturally.
You begin to use your deductive reasoning abilities. You try to figure out what people most likely said by removing unlikely possibilities.
This puts a lot of extra stress on the brain. And when you’re unable to accurately use those deductive reasoning skills it can be very stressful. This can lead to embarrassment, misconceptions, and even bitterness.
Stress has a huge impact 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 progresses, something new happens.
You can begin to “feel older” than you actually are when you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves and straining to hear. If you’re constantly thinking that you’re getting old, it can come to be a self fulfilling prophecy.
We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they start to lose touch with reality. Humans are social creatures. Even people who are introverted struggle when they’re never around others.
Untreated hearing loss slowly isolates a person. Talking on the phone becomes a chore. You need to have people repeat themselves at social functions making them much less pleasant. Family and friends start to exclude you from discussions. Even when you’re in a room with a lot of people, you may space out and feel alone. The radio may not even be there to keep you company after a while.
It’s just better to spend more time by yourself. You feel older than people your age and don’t feel like you can relate to them anymore.
This frequent lack of mental stimulus makes it harder for the brain to process new information.
A chain reaction commences in the brain when someone begins to physically or mentally seclude themselves. Regions of the brain are no longer being stimulated. They quit functioning.
There’s a high degree of interconnectivity between the various parts of the brain. Hearing is connected with speech, memory, learning, problem-solving, and other skills.
This loss of function in one region of the brain can slowly spread to other brain functions including hearing. Loss of memory is linked to this process.
It’s exactly like the legs of a person who is bedridden. When they’re sick in bed for a long time, leg muscles become very weak. They may possibly just quit working completely. They might need to get physical therapy to learn to walk again.
But when it comes to the brain, this damage is a great deal more challenging to rehabilitate. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Brain Scans demonstrate this shrinkage.
How memory loss can be stopped by hearing aids
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably still in the beginning stages of memory loss. You might not even barely notice it. The great news is that it isn’t the hearing loss that contributes to memory loss.
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 doesn’t have hearing loss. The progression of memory loss was delayed in people who started wearing their hearing aids after experiencing symptoms.
As you age, try to remain connected and active. If you want to keep your memory intact you should understand that it’s closely linked to hearing loss. Don’t disregard your hearing health. Schedule a hearing test. And talk to us about a solution if you’re not using your hearing aid for some reason.