FACT. My memory is not what it used to be. FACT. I have to keep my brain stimulated in order to keep my mind focused and healthy.
I do a lot of brain teasers, puzzles, and creative thinking throughout the day because as we get older, we naturally have shorter memories, but even if you’re intrigued by all the brain-training products out there to keep your mind sharp and spirits young, sometimes it doesn’t seem to help. In my husband’s case, you may want to consider something else: A hearing test.
That’s right, you heard me. My husband gets disability for his hearing because 23 years around aircrafts tend to cause hearing loss. And not only does it affect his hearing, but what he remembers in the long run. Mounting evidence links untreated hearing loss to impaired memory and diminished cognitive function. What that means is, if you keep brushing off that suspected hearing loss of yours, your cognition may pay.
Researchers have found that when people with unaddressed hearing loss strain to hear, they tend to do more poorly on memory tests. They may figure out what is being said, but because so much effort goes into just hearing it, their ability to remember what they heard often suffers.
Experts believe this has to do with what they call “cognitive load.” That is, in order to compensate for the hearing loss and make out the words, people with untreated hearing loss may draw on cognitive resources they’d normally use to remember what they’ve heard. Experts say that untreated hearing loss may even interfere with the person’s ability to accurately process and make sense of what was said or heard.
In fact, research shows that people with poorer hearing have less gray matter in the auditory cortex, a region of the brain needed to support speech comprehension.
Other research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia. One Johns Hopkins study found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. Another found that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. And a third revealed a link between hearing loss and accelerated brain tissue loss.
Some experts believe that interventions, like professionally fitted hearing aids, could potentially help.
The bottom line is we actually “hear” with our brain, not with our ears.
So if you think you may have hearing loss, do something about it. Make an appointment with a hearing health care professional, and get a hearing test. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) suggests that treating hearing loss may be one of the best things you can actually do to help protect your memory and cognitive function and lucky for us, BHI offers a free, confidential online hearing check where people can determine if they need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing health care professional.
I didn’t expect that!
I just recently had my test done and while I do have a slight loss going on, a lot of it is also affected by my allergies clogging the tubes! So, even the simplest things can repave the brain to a better memory. And as my husband will tell you, I’m known for recalling things years ago that he has “naturally” forgotten! Why would I stop now!
Keep your memory stimulated! Try The Greatest Brainteasers of All Time!