Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be impacted. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact how your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory issues are associated with a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the connection. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Detecting hearing loss can often be challenging. Often, people miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss might only be identified, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more severe. The development of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to detect. It’s commonly easy to disregard symptoms and, basically, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer disruptions. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can result in:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is especially true. The cause and effect relationship is not entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from others. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this type of isolation can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People with neglected hearing loss often exhibit an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these issues are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social isolation.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more extreme impacts of untreated hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow cognitive decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that managing your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive effect. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we may suggest the following:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to happen, regular screenings can identify them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be reduced by using hearing protection.

You don’t need to remain forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a lot of good.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly improve your outlook and reduce your risk of other issues.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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