Looking for a Memory Boost? Try a hearing test

By Dr. Anne Simon

December 2, 2016

One of the most common misunderstandings that normal hearers have when it comes to relating to those with hearing loss is the amount of effort required to hear conversation. A normal hearer gives little mind to the process of hearing conversation. When you have hearing loss, it takes considerably more effort and conversation to be in relationship.

You could compare this to a computer’s processing unit (CPU). If you spend—for comparison—20% of your processing capacity trying to discern what is being said to you, you have 80% to perform other cognitive functions. But, if you have hearing loss, and you have to spend 80% of your processing capacity just trying to understand the words being spoken, you have less capacity for other functions.

Research has demonstrated a link between hearing loss and a drop in cognition and information retention. Research has also demonstrated a correlation between hearing loss and less gray matter in the auditory cortex of the brain. The auditory cortex is responsible for speech comprehension.

Ultimately, your ears transmit sound to your brain. It is your brain that hears.

A hearing test might be the key to understanding, retaining, and making better use of information.

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