Hearing loss not only affects our quality of life and ability to communicate effectively with others, it seems it can also have long term effects on our memory and the brain’s ability to remember common everyday sounds!
A recent study which looked at the effects of hearing loss on memory has concluded that people who have a hearing loss of any degree, particularly elderly people, may experience some memory problems if left untreated over a prolonged period of time.The study suggested that in order to try and hear accurately a person will expend more cognitive energy, which in turn affects a person’s ability to remember simple things such as spoken language.
If the hearing channels of the brain are no longer being stimulated effectively, the brain forgets certain sounds overtime and becomes unable to understand them. Results indicate that even when older adults could hear words well enough to repeat them, their ability to memorise and remember these words was poorer in comparison to other individuals of the same age with good hearing.
Research has also found that the hearing part of the brain is only able to store sounds and noises for up to three years following the on set of a hearing loss. After about seven years the memory becomes weaker so that when a hearing aid is eventually introduced the brain essentially has to learn some sounds all over again.
On average, most people will wait 10 years before doing something about their hearing.Wearing hearing aids does assist in amplifying sounds that the ear no longer hears properly on its own which, in turn,keeps the channels to the brain and the hearing centre of the brain stimulated.They also assist in understanding what people are saying which frees up the brain to focus more on higher level cognitive functions like recalling information.
For more infomation please contact Connect Hearing on 1300 362 231.
Author: Tanya Wilson
Connect with Tanya on Google+