How Hearing Loss Affects Memory Loss

by | Apr 24, 2023 | News

People with hearing loss understand how it can impact their daily life. For example, following conversations is sometimes tricky, and watching TV is often challenging. Did you know that hearing loss also affects your memory and overall health?

Using hearing aids can improve your present quality of life and reduce the risk of memory loss.

How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Memory?

Processing sounds makes your brain work harder when you can’t hear clearly. To accommodate the larger workload, your brain must reduce the energy it puts into other functions, including remembering what you hear. The resulting cognitive overload can cause exhaustion. In addition, when you don’t use your memory, your memory’s capacity decreases.

The strain caused by untreated hearing loss often causes people to avoid social interaction. Less interaction often means that your brain isn’t stimulated. Lack of stimulation can cause your brain cells to degenerate faster. The resulting atrophy reduces your brain’s mass and may lead to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

The University of Maryland Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences conducted a study of people with mild and moderate hearing loss during their first six months of using hearing aids. The results showed that the study’s participants had improvements in neural speech processing, ease of listening, and memory.

Assistant Professor Samira Anderson, Ph.D., states, “Our results suggest that the benefits of auditory rehabilitations through the use of hearing aids may extend beyond better hearing and could include improved working memory and auditory brain function.”

Does Hearing Loss Cause Dementia?

Not all people with hearing loss will have dementia, and everyone with dementia doesn’t have hearing loss. However, there is a correlation. A study performed by Johns Hopkins showed that hearing loss increases a person’s risk of developing dementia:

  • Mild hearing loss: double
  • Moderate hearing loss: triple
  • Severe hearing loss: five times

Having your hearing checked frequently and if you suspect hearing loss allows you to address the issue before it worsens and can reduce your risk of associated memory loss. The HEAR Center offers audiological evaluations and hearing aids to California residents.

How Else Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Health?

Hearing loss can affect much more than your memory. It can cause multiple developmental difficulties in children. For others, hearing loss can cause several complications.

People with hearing trouble often find it challenging to converse with others. This can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. These people are likely to become isolated and lonely, adding to the risk of mental health decline.

Hearing loss can also affect your balance, making walking challenging. Those with troubled hearing are unable to hear important, subtle signals that assist with balance while walking.

Do You Want To Reduce Your Risk of Memory Loss Due to Hearing Problems?

Hearing problems don’t cause all memory loss. However, the two issues often go hand-in-hand. Age-related hearing loss affects almost half the people in the U.S. over the age of 75. This type of loss is typically gradual, making it more difficult to notice. Hearing aids can help. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist at the HEAR Center today to test your hearing. Use live chat, email us, or call (626) 734-6555.

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