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Memory and Hearing Loss

You can’t remember what you can’t hear!

Hearing loss and memory loss are common in Boomers and both can look the same to an outside observer. For example, research has shown that people with mild to moderate hearing loss might spend so much energy trying to understand what is being said that their ability to remember the conversation suffers as a result.

There are very gradual and subtle effects of hearing loss on memory and cognitive functions. However, the strategies for treating hearing loss and memory loss are quite different.

When considering some of the symptoms Alzheimer’s Disease and untreated hearing loss, the correlation is obvious:

Alzheimer’s Disease Untreated Hearing Loss
  • Depression, anxiety, disorientation
  • Reduced Language comprehension
  • Impaired memory (esp. short-term memory)
  • Inappropriate psychosocial responses
  • Loss of ability to recognize
  • Denial, defensiveness, negativity
  • Distrust and suspicion regarding other’s motives
  • Depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation
  • Reduced communication ability
  • Reduced cognitive input
  • Inappropriate psychosocial responses
  • Reduced mental scores
  • Denial, heightened defensiveness, negativity
  • Distrust and paranoia (e.g. belief that others may be talking about them)