Are you forgetting something? It isn’t your imagination. Remembering day-to-day things is becoming harder and harder. Memory loss seems to develop 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?
If you think that this is simply a natural part of the aging process, you would be wrong. There’s always an underlying reason for the loss of the ability to process memories.
Neglected hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your hearing impacting your ability to remember? By identifying the cause of your loss of memory, you can take measures to slow down its development significantly and, in many instances, bring your memory back.
Here are some facts to consider.
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.
The reasons for this higher risk are multi-fold.
At first, hearing loss causes the brain to over-work. Listening to things requires added effort. Now, your brain has to work hard where before it just happened naturally.
It becomes necessary to activate deductive reasoning. When attempting to listen, you eliminate the unlikely possibilities to determine what someone probably said.
Your brain is under extra strain because of this. It’s particularly stressful when your deductive reasoning skills let you down. The consequence of this can be misunderstandings, embarrassment, and sometimes even resentment.
How we process memory can be significantly affected by stress. 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 advances.
You can begin to “feel older” than you actually are when you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves and struggling to hear. If you’re always thinking that you’re getting old, it can come to be a self fulfilling prophecy.
We’re all familiar with that story of somebody whose loneliness causes them to lose touch with the world around them. Human beings are meant to be social. When they’re never with others, even introverts struggle.
A person with disregarded hearing loss slowly becomes secluded. It’s more difficult to have phone conversations. You need people to repeat what they said at social functions making them much less enjoyable. Friends and family start to exclude you from discussions. You might be off in space feeling secluded even when you’re in a room full of people. The radio may not even be there to keep you company after a while.
Being on your own just seems easier. You feel as if 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 hard to process new information.
A chain reaction commences in the brain when a person starts to physically or mentally isolate themselves. There’s no more stimulation reaching parts of the brain. They stop working.
Our brain functions are very interconnected. Hearing is linked to speech, memory, learning, problem-solving, and other skills.
There will normally be a slow spread of this functional atrophy to other brain activity, like hearing, which is also linked to memory.
It’s exactly like the legs of a bedridden person. Muscles get weak when they’re sick in bed over a long time period of time. They may quit working altogether. They might need to get physical therapy to learn to walk again.
But the brain is different. Once it goes down this slippery slope, it’s difficult to reverse the damage. Shrinkage actually happens to the brain. Brain Scans demonstrate this shrinkage.
How a hearing aid can prevent memory loss
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably still in the early stages of memory loss. It may be barely noticeable. It isn’t the hearing loss itself that is leading to memory loss, and that’s the good news.
It’s neglected hearing loss.
Research has revealed that individuals with hearing loss who regularly wear their hearing aid have the same risk of developing memory loss as someone of the same age with healthy hearing. 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 dismiss 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.