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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. Remembering everyday things is getting more and more difficult. Once you become aware of it, memory loss seems to advance quickly. It becomes more incapacitating the more you become aware of it. Did you know memory loss is linked to hearing loss?

And no, this isn’t just a natural part of getting older. Losing the ability to process memories always has a root cause.

Neglected hearing loss is frequently that reason. Is your hearing affecting your ability to remember? You can slow down the development of memory loss significantly and perhaps even get some back if you are aware of the cause.

Here are a few facts to consider.

How memory loss can be triggered by untreated hearing loss

They’re not unrelated. Cognitive issues, including Alzheimer’s and memory loss, were 24% more likely in people who suffer from hearing loss.
The reasons for this higher risk are multi-fold.

Mental fatigue

Initially, the brain will have to work overtime to overcome hearing loss. Listening to things demands extra effort. While this came naturally in the past, it’s now something your brain needs to work to process.

It becomes necessary to utilize deductive reasoning. When attempting to hear, you remove the unlikely possibilities to determine what someone most likely said.

Your brain is under added strain because of this. It’s especially stressful when your deductive reasoning skills let you down. This can cause embarrassment, misunderstandings, and even bitterness.

How we process memory can be significantly impacted by stress. When we’re stressed, we’re spending brain resources that we should be using for memory.

And something new starts to take place as hearing loss worsens.

Feeling older

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

Social solitude

We’ve all heard the trope of the person who’s so lonely that they start to lose touch with reality. We humans are social creatures. When they’re never with others, even introverts have a hard time.

A person with neglected hearing loss gradually becomes isolated. It’s harder to have phone conversations. You need people to repeat what they said at social gatherings making them a lot less enjoyable. You begin to be excluded from conversations by family and friends. Even when you’re in a room with a lot of people, you may zone out and feel secluded. The radio might not even be there to keep you company after a while.

Being alone just seems simpler. You feel as if you can’t relate to your friends now because you feel older than them even though you’re not.

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

Brain atrophy

As somebody who is coping with untreated hearing loss starts to isolate themselves either physically or just mentally, a chain reaction commences in the brain. There’s no more stimulation reaching regions of the brain. They quit working.

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

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

It’s similar to how the legs become atrophied when somebody is bedridden for a long period of time. When they are sick in bed for an extended time, leg muscles get very weak. They may possibly just stop 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 difficult 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 still in the beginning stages of memory loss. You might not even barely be aware of it. It’s not the hearing loss itself that is leading to memory loss, and that’s the good news.

It’s the fact that the hearing loss is neglected.

Research has revealed that individuals with hearing loss who regularly use their hearing aid have the same chance of developing memory loss as someone of the same age with healthy hearing. The advancement of memory loss was slowed in people who began wearing their hearing aids after experiencing symptoms.

Stay connected and active as you age. Keep your memories, memory loss is connected to hearing loss. Don’t dismiss 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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