Tinnitus and Memory Loss
Studies have suggested that there is a link between tinnitus and memory loss, to a degree. This means that if you are suffering from tinnitus, there is a chance that you may find memory-related tasks a little bit more difficult. This can include the formation of new memories, as well as recalling memories that you had previously. On this page, we want to look at a few of the reasons as to why this could be the case.
Research is still in preliminary stages
It is worth noting that we have only recently started to look into the link between memory issues and tinnitus. A lot of the information that we share here is based on a study carried out in Australia at the University of Western Sydney.
Since this is research that is still in the preliminary stages, all we can say for sure right now is that there is a chance that having tinnitus will have an impact on your memory. We can't be 100% sure of the reasoning behind it. All we know is that memory can be impacted.
What the study demonstrated
The most recent study demonstrated that when you are doing small laborious tasks or ones which required you to remember minor information, then the chances of you being able to accomplish this were far lower if you were suffering from tinnitus. There would also be an impact on other cognitive tasks that you may need to carry out.
A lot of these issues did disappear when you had to put real effort into doing something. Although, even then, it was suggested that this could be slightly more difficult for those with tinnitus.
Basically; if you have tinnitus, then you will probably have issues storing information, as well as recovering information that you have stored in the past. There has currently been no research carried out on whether this is something that could feasibly change once the tinnitus disappears. However, it is likely that it would.
Why does this happen?
We still do not 100% for sure why memory issues are apparent in those with tinnitus. We can make a couple of educated guesses, however.
One piece of research, carried out by the University of Illinois found that when you have tinnitus, your brain never really gets the opportunity to 'rest'. It always seems to be firing off. This can cause two issues. For starters; your brain is never really getting the break it needs to process information properly. The second is that is generally a lot harder to store information when you are tired.
Not only this but having tinnitus can serve as a distraction. You never quite get used to that ringing or whooshing sound in your ears, and on some days, it is going to be worse than others. If this is going on, you are going to find it incredibly tough to absorb that information. You simply will not be able to focus enough on it.
Many people with tinnitus also stay awake late at night. Tiredness, once again, leads to memory issues. However, the main problem with staying awake at night is the fact that your body processes the information you have gained that day. It is when you sleep that this information is put into long-term memory. If you aren't sleeping as much, then this process is either not going to work, or it is not going to work effectively.
Remember; memory issues due to tinnitus can likely be solved, but you do need to start working on eliminating the tinnitus sooner as opposed to later. The quicker you deal with the issue, the less damage you will be causing to your memory processes.