Saturday, March 28, 2015

Brain Fog: Exposed

Brain fog: that moment in time when you are having a discussion and ............Wait what was I writing about again????

Oh, yeah. Brain fog.

That moment in time when you meet and old friend and................Who was I talking to?????

Oh, yeah. I am trying to explain brain fog.

This should be easy. It's right on the tip of my tongue..................or fingers.............or???

You get the point.

But there may be a logical explanation of why we Menierians (I stole that word) have trouble remembering things.

It was recently explained, although not directly, to me as it pertains to hearing loss.

You see, our brain is an amazing computer. One that cannot be copied for it's complexity.  Each part of the brain is created with it's specific portion to do a specific job.

But here is the interesting point.  If a part of your brain is not doing the job it is designed to do, it doesn't just sit there waiting for something to do, it does something else.

Brain scans have been done of people who are born deaf. In the beginning, the portion of the brain that is supposed to understand hearing just sits there. But as time goes on, that portion of the brain is used for something else.  Maybe it is sight. Maybe it is taste. Maybe it is reflexes. The point is, the brain finds itself too valuable to just sit there doing nothing. And in the case of deafness, by the time a person is 12 years old, the entire brain is occupied doing something and the portion of the brain used for hearing may be lost. Permanently.

I have been in some Deaf (note the capital D for Deaf Culture) groups where I hear them saying that they have better eyesight or other senses than hearing people, and that may very well be the case because the brain is using more than the originally planned "space" for those senses.

Now, for my interpretation, with some scientific backing, for "brain fog".

Being a computer, your brain loves information. The more the better. It can't get enough.

Also being like a computer, it goes by the same rules that I learned in my first exposure to them: GIGO- Garbage in, Garbage out.

If the information that your brain is receiving is "garbage", it doesn't know what to do with it so it spends a lot of time and energy trying to figure it out.

And when something completely new and foreign is introduced into your brain, such as tinnitus or vertigo, it needs to find someplace in the brain to try to figure out what it is supposed to do with it. That means something else it was doing, it no longer has time for.  The more intrusive the "new garbage" the more space and energy it spends figuring it out.

Again a computer analogy.  How many of us love our brand new computer? It runs fast! It never locks up! But over time, as new programs are added, and errors occur, it slows down, s l o w e r, and s  l  o  w  e  r  and s   l   o   w   e   r.

Here is my scientific backing.

In the case of people who are born deaf, and later in life (past that magical 12 year old point) get a cochlear implant, the part of the brain that is supposed to understand hearing is busy doing something else that the brain finds important. It doesn't stop doing that because it now is hearing things. It doesn't know it is supposed to. Therefore, the sound is going to a different part of the brain. Brain scans are showing it going to the part of the brain responsible for short term memory! AHA! Brain fog!

The same may very well be the case when we start having tinnitus and vertigo. The brain is using a part of the brain not designed to figure out what the heck is going on, so it uses the energy from short term memory to try to sort out why there are birds chirping in my head 24/7 and why the world spins.  No time for things like memory anymore!

Now, wasn't that a great (in my humble opinion) explanation of brain fog?!

You remember it, right?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

'Til next time


Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating disease


  1. Nice explanation. Makes sense. Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much! I thought it made good sense as well when I heard the explanation.

  2. Brilliantly explained!!! 😄
    Do you mind if I pinch this? So I can show people who don't really understand 😊
    Hope you are well ☺ xx

    1. Feel free to use, just credit me. It seems very logical to make this conclusion based an what I learned about hearing loss and the fact that people with hearing loss struggle with exhaustion because of the extra work involved in hearing.

  3. Reading more of your information and I'm amazed! Did not know that my brain fog and inability to remember tied into the tinnitus!
    Who hobo! Love being able to make sense of this disease.
    You're so helpful Dennis!

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you find my story interesting and helpful.