According to the researchers at Brandeis University, the effort that one has to expend to listen with untreated hearing loss is associated with increased stress levels and significantly poorer performance on memory tests.
Research by Dr. Arthur Wingfield shows that people who have undiagnosed hearing loss understand the words that are spoken to them, but have a hard time remembering them. This is likely because their energy is focused on careful listening, drawing from cognitive resources that would otherwise be used to store the information they hear.
“Even if you have just a mild hearing loss that is not being treated, cognitive load increases significantly,” Wingfield said. “You have to put in so much effort just to perceive and understand what is being said that you divert resources away from storing what you have heard into your memory.”
Unaddressed hearing loss also affects the brain composition, which reorganizes due to the lack of sensory stimulation, resulting in less gray matter in the auditory cortex, a region that is responsible for speech comprehension. This is why Dr. Wingfield suggests that middle aged people or older get their hearing tested every year.
If you think you may have some hearing loss, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-426-0687 to schedule your appointment with a hearing healthcare provider today.