Preventing Memory Loss for the Hard of Hearing
– Written by Jane Sandwood –
A number of landmark studies have now concluded that there is a link between hearing loss and dementia. This may be due to a common neurological underpinning to the part of the brain used to hear and the region used for memory. It may also be that the brain deteriorates by straining too much to process sounds. Whatever the reason, those with hearing difficulties should take extra care in looking after their memory. The following activities have been proven to reduce memory loss.
Stay Mentally and Physically Active
The brain is like any muscle in the body. The more you exercise it, the healthier it stays. Regularly doing games and puzzles that involve memory is a good way to keep strengthening that memory faculty. You can even make up a game, such as trying to shop without a list.
Physical activity is also essential. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and increase the number of blood vessels, so your brain has the oxygen it needs to function. It will also boost your mood and sleep, both of which improve memory.
It’s important to notice the early signs of dementia, one of the most common of them being a failure to connect with the community. The hard of hearing can feel especially excluded from society, but you need to try and actively engage with others. Join groups and societies, especially as you age.
People can often lose their social network as they get older, but without regular socialisation the risk of memory-related conditions increases. Seek out company where possible, call your family and invite friends over regularly. This social interaction will keep your cognitive faculties functioning correctly.
Focus on Sleep
One of the main reasons we need sleep is to consolidate memories. Everything you do during the day – the information you take in – needs to be processed and stored by the brain. This happens during REM sleep. If you are not getting enough deep sleep, then forming these memories will be difficult. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, avoid caffeine late in the day, and prioritise sleep to prevent memory loss.
Memory loss is a normal part of aging, but dementia and Alzheimer’s are not. These conditions, however, are largely preventable. By keeping your brain active with memory games, socialisation and getting enough sleep, you can help prevent the onset of memory loss.