Hearing loss has been linked to depression, anxiety and increased risk of falls, but did you know it can also lead to memory problems? Your ability to remember everything from major life events to small details like where you put your keys makes a huge impact on your quality of life, so it’s important to address hearing loss and associated memory problems promptly.
Below are some of the ways hearing and memory are connected.
Having hearing loss means you need to use extra brainpower to concentrate on the sounds you’re hearing so you can make sense of them. Many people with hearing loss have trouble discriminating between certain high-frequency sounds like consonants, so it takes a lot of focus to understand exactly what is being said.
This phenomenon, known as cognitive overload, unfortunately means the brain cannot store the information coming in. The brain is too busy trying to listen and interpret to also be able to memorize the content of the utterance. So when you try to remember what was said, the information is simply not there.
Trouble communicating inevitably leads to isolation and feelings of loneliness. In fact, reduced socialization is extremely common or people with untreated hearing loss.
When you’re isolated in your home instead of spending time with loved ones at Zuma Beach, your brain is exposed to very little stimuli, and as a result, becomes less active. This can actually cause structural changes in the brain like shrinkage. Being isolated also means you use your memory less, lowering its capacity and performance. When it does come time to recall information, you’ll have a harder time doing so.
Anxiety and Depression
Social isolation and loneliness can also increase the risk of developing psychological problems like depression and anxiety.
Studies on depression have found that it can actually change the way your brain works, impacting memory and making it more difficult to retain and recall information.
For more information on the link between hearing loss and memory problems or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call Decibel Hearing today.