5 Things to Know About Hearing Loss and Memory Loss
Memory loss can occur for many different reasons, and it can be tricky to decipher the cause. You might attribute your lack of memory to aging, or stress, but it can actually be a symptom of hearing loss. If you are experiencing loss, it's important to look at what may be causing it. Here's what you should know about the hearing loss and memory loss:
- Your Brain is Responsible for Hearing: While our ears typically get most of the credit for our hearing, it is really the brain that is responsible for processing the sounds we hear. The structures in your ear send signals through auditory pathways in your brain to process. Your brain can then commit what you’ve heard to memory.
- Hearing Loss Breaks Concentration: Hearing loss can make it difficult to concentrate. You might strain to hear and be more focused on what you're missing than making an effort to absorb information. It can be tricky to decipher what people around you are saying, especially if there are multiple people speaking at once.
- Hearing Loss Leads to Isolation: When you have difficulty hearing in conversation, it can make you overly self-conscious and lead to uneasy feelings. You may actually start to notice yourself withdrawing from social settings with your friends and family. Withdrawing from social interactions can leave your brain lacking in outside stimulation and experts believe this is part of the reason your brain may atrophy at an accelerated rate when you have hearing loss.
- Hearing Loss Can Cause Depression and Anxiety: Along with other negative impacts to your health, hearing loss can cause your mental health to decline. The feelings of loneliness, fear, and worry that comes along with trouble hearing can lead to real depression and anxiety. Depression is linked to cognition problems and even short-term memory loss.
- You Can Protect Your Hearing and Your Memory: By proactively protecting your hearing, you'll be able to reduce your risk of cognitive impairment. Be sure to avoid noisy environments and activities when you can and keep your music and television at a lower volume. When you cannot avoid high decibel environments, wear ear protection. It is also helpful to have your hearing tested by a hearing healthcare provider to establish a baseline for your hearing.
Hearing loss can often be helped with the use of hearing aids. The right hearing aid for your type and severity of hearing loss can alleviate some of the stress you might feel, let you connect with your friends and family, and even improve your ability to retain spoken information.
Have you been feeling forgetful? We can help you determine if it is due to hearing loss. Call our office to schedule your hearing test today.