Both music and hearing loss can have a significant effect on memory. Music can improve memories and make recollections more vivid. Hearing loss, on the other hand, can negatively affect memory and even can make a person more prone to cognitive decline and dementia.
Music and Memory
A 2016 study looked at how music evoked memories compared to memories that were brought back by seeing photos of famous faces. Participants listened to 30 songs and viewed 30 images of famous faces and reported on the memories that were brought up by both. The memories evoked by music were more vivid and contained greater detail than those that were evoked by seeing faces.
To most of us, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. We can hear a song from high school and instantly be transported back to that time in our lives, even if it was years or decades ago.
Additionally, a 2011 study found that learning an instrument can improve working memory and that musicians tend to perform better than non-musicians on memory tests.
Hearing Loss and Memory Problems
Hearing loss can make retaining information difficult. This is because people with untreated hearing loss must concentrate much harder to recognize sounds. This is especially true in louder environments like Docklands Riverfront or other busy restaurants.
In situations like these, people with hearing loss are putting so much effort into trying to understand what is being said, which causes them to have less mental energy to put towards remembering information.
Untreated hearing loss is also associated with higher rates of cognitive decline and dementia.
Hearing Aids Can Help
If you suffer from untreated hearing loss, not only are you missing out on being able to enjoy your favorite songs, but you are also putting your physical and mental health at risk. In addition to a greater risk for dementia, these risks include:
- Higher rates of anxiety and depression
- Higher likelihood of balance issues and suffering from falls
- Increased isolation
- Difficulty concentrating and connecting with others
Hearing aids can help you stay connected to the people in your life and navigate the world around you without fear that hearing loss will hold you back.
Hearing aids also improve your memory by requiring less effort for you to hear. If you’ve been on the fence about getting your hearing checked, now is the perfect time. Take charge of your hearing health so you can sit back and enjoy the music.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Wilmington Audiology today.