Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. People typically don’t associate their memory problems, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the connection. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How hearing loss effects memory

Noticing hearing loss can often be difficult. It isn’t uncommon for people to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss may only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The development of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to detect. It’s commonly easy to dismiss symptoms and, basically, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer interruptions. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate like this. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. In instances where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is often a notable presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. Even though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been solidly connected to the following issues.:

  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk to the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to drop when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people who have untreated hearing loss. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

These issues are not unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. Similarly, that kind of isolation can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious consequences of neglecting your hearing issues. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that managing your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we may suggest the following:

  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. By avoiding and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect issues with your hearing before they become significant problems. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and further damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.

You can improve your memory

You can recover strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, cognitive functions will come back once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

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

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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