(303) 988.7299

Here’s some information on the effect a hearing loss may have on memory.  The extra effort in hearing may decrease the ability to remember words.

Older persons with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may use so much cognitive energy on hearing accurately that their ability to remember may become impaired, according to a study published in an issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Hearing Loss In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2005) — Waltham, Mass. — In a new study, Brandeis University researchers conclude that older adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may expend so much cognitive energy on hearing accurately that their ability to remember spoken language suffers as a result.

“There are subtle effects of hearing loss on memory and cognitive function in older adults,” said lead author Arthur Wingfield, Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience at the Volen National Center for Complex Systems at Brandeis University. “The effect of expending extra effort comprehending words means there are fewer cognitive resources for higher level comprehension.”

“This extra effort in the initial stages of speech perception uses processing resources that would otherwise be available for downstream operations, such as encoding the material in memory or performing higher-level comprehension operations,” explained co-authors Patricia A. Tun and Sandra L. McCoy.

“This study is a wake-up call to anyone who works with older people, including health care professionals, to be especially sensitive to how hearing loss can affect cognitive function,” said Dr. Wingfield.

Source of information:  Hearing Loss  In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory

Tags: Hearing loss, memory problems, better hearing, hearing aids