Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have diverse impacts across your overall life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be affected. The way your brain functions, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For instance, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the connection is at least partly due to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be difficult to notice. It’s not uncommon for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. For these individuals hearing loss may only become apparent once it has become moderate or severe. The progression of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially difficult to detect. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is quite good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. This is advantageous in that you will most likely experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. 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 determine 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 result in memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Although scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has shown that neglected hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from other people. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like using self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Over time, this type of isolation can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

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

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, managing 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 treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we may recommend 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 issues can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the mental strain outlined above.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become significant issues. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, cognitive functions will return 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 substantially 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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