Individuals with hearing loss can struggle with remembering information they’ve heard. Due to the effort it takes to hear speech sounds or background noise, hearing loss has been associated with confusion, trouble concentrating and other issues that may affect your memory.
Trouble Hearing Can Impact Concentration
Individuals with hearing loss often struggle to understand speech and background noise. Putting energy into differentiating between speech sounds or identifying the direction noise is coming from can lead to a condition known as cognitive overload.
With cognitive overload, the brain is so overwhelmed by the tasks it attempts to accomplish that it ceases to function correctly, leading to missed information and often confusion.
These issues have led researchers to wonder whether hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline.
One study on the association between hearing loss and cognitive decline found that “Compared to those with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss at baseline had a 24% increased risk for incident cognitive impairment.”
However, the study could not determine the underlying mechanical reasons for the association, and further research is needed to understand the relationship between the two conditions better.
Social Isolation and Hearing Loss
Shying away from social situations due to trouble hearing, concentrating and the resulting cognitive overload can lead to poor physical health, including “higher risk for cardiovascular disease and dementia, faster cognitive decline, and increased risk of mortality, as well as disruptions in mental health, including higher levels of depression, anxiety, and negative affect.”
Exposing your brain to stimuli and endorphins from social situations helps keep it active. Hearing loss can induce anxiety and depression and lead to social isolation. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids can help reduce these adverse effects.
Schedule a Hearing Test
Hearing loss comes on gradually. Often family members or friends are the first to identify hearing loss. If a family member or friend notices that you’re often confused or have trouble concentrating when grabbing coffee at Café Moto, getting a hearing test is an excellent first step in addressing the issue.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, trouble concentrating and confusion, schedule an appointment with an audiologist at San Diego ENT today.