Losing Your Hearing Can Cost You Your Memory | Blog | Nardelli Audiology

Losing Your Hearing Can Cost You Your Memory

By Melissa Carnes Rose, Au.D. May 15, 2023
Losing Your Hearing Can Cost You Your Memory - Nardelli Audiology Blog

Hearing loss is not a simple problem that only affects the ears. It affects your overall health and even your cognitive abilities such as your memory. Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that spanned over a decade. Their results found that those who had a hearing impairment were more likely to develop symptoms of dementia 3 years earlier than those with regular hearing. Furthermore, Johns Hopkins also found that untreated hearing problems have been linked to loss of memory.

It is widely known that hearing loss places additional strain on the brain in order to decipher meaning out of limited sound signals. This constant brain fatigue can cause brain atrophy, especially in the region in the brain that is responsible for verbal language known as the temporal lobe. Brain atrophy simply refers to shrinkage of the brain as a result of lack of use due to conditions like hearing loss. This kind of atrophy of the brain can give rise to dementia over time.

People often try to mask their hearing problem using defiant or sarcastic comments such as “I didn’t hear what you were saying because I didn’t think it was important enough.” Instead of getting defensive with your partner, consider for a moment that they may be either unaware or unwilling to admit that they have a hearing problem. People may say that they simply “filter out” the “unnecessary garble” when in reality they are unable to hear most of what is said.

If you feel that you or a loved one is showing signs of hearing loss, make sure you visit an audiologist without further delay. Hearing loss brings a host of underlying health issues with it, especially severe and degenerative problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Do not neglect hearing loss since timely treatment can help you and your loved ones get back the control over your lives and make the most out of your days.

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