Last night, did you turn up the volume on your TV? It might be a sign of hearing loss if so. The challenge is… you can’t quite remember. And that’s starting become more of an issue recently. While you were working yesterday, you couldn’t even remember your new co-worker’s name. You met her recently, but even so, it seems like you’re losing your grip on your memory and your hearing. And as you think about it, you can only come up with one common cause: aging.
Now, sure, age can be related to both loss of hearing and memory failure. But it’s even more relevant that these two can also be related to each other. That might sound like bad news initially (you have to deal with memory loss and hearing loss together…great). But there can be unseen positives to this connection.
Memory And Hearing Loss – What’s The Connection?
Hearing loss can be straining for your brain in a number of ways well before you recognize the decrease in your hearing. Though the “spillover” effects may start out small, over time they can expand, encompassing your brain, your memory, even your social life.
How is so much of your brain impacted by hearing loss? There are several ways:
- An abundance of quiet: As your hearing starts to diminish, you’re going to experience more quietness (especially if your hearing loss goes unnoticed and untreated). For the regions of your brain that interprets sound, this can be rather dull. This boredom might not seem like a serious problem, but lack of use can actually cause parts of your brain to weaken and atrophy. This can affect the performance of all of your brain’s systems and that includes memory.
- Social isolation: When you have trouble hearing, you’ll probably experience some additional obstacles communicating. Social isolation will commonly be the result, Once again, your brain is lacking vital interaction which can result in memory problems. The brain will keep getting weaker the less it’s used. Eventually, social isolation can lead to anxiety, depression, and memory problems.
- Constant strain: In the early phases of hearing loss especially, your brain is going to experience a kind of hyper-activation exhaustion. This occurs because, even though there’s no actual input signal, your brain struggles to hear what’s taking place in the world (it puts in a lot of energy trying to hear because without recognizing you have hearing loss, it believes that everything is quiet). Your brain as well as your body will be left exhausted. Memory loss and other problems can be the outcome.
Your Body Has An Early Warning System – It’s Called Memory Loss
Clearly, having hearing loss isn’t the only thing that causes memory loss. Mental or physical fatigue or illness, among other things, can cause loss of memory. As an example, eating healthy and sleeping well can help help your memory.
This can be an example of your body putting up red flags. The red flags go up when things aren’t working properly. And one of those red flags is failing to remember what your friend said yesterday.
Those red flags can be useful if you’re trying to keep an eye out for hearing loss.
Memory Loss Frequently Indicates Hearing Loss
The symptoms and signs of hearing impairment can often be hard to detect. Hearing loss doesn’t happen instantly. Damage to your hearing is often further along than you would want by the time you actually observe the symptoms. But if you get your hearing checked soon after detecting some memory loss, you might be able to catch the issue early.
Retrieving Your Memory
In instances where hearing loss has affected your memory, whether it’s through social isolation or mental fatigue, treatment of your root hearing problem is the first step in treatment. When your brain stops overworking and straining, it’ll be capable of returning to its normal activities. Be patient, it can take a while for your brain to adjust to hearing again.
Loss of memory can be a practical warning that you need to keep your eye on the state of your hearing and protecting your ears. That’s a lesson to remember as you get older.