Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad 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 works, including your mood and memory, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

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

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

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. It isn’t uncommon for people to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss may only be detected, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance quite slowly. People often begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You might not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to execute at this level for long durations can lead to:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we’ll be able to tell you whether the root cause is hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss result in memory issues?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Though scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been strongly linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have demonstrated that untreated hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t uncommon for people to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people who have neglected hearing loss. This risk declines dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

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

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we might suggest the following:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to occur, regular screenings can identify them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can lead to less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.

You can improve your memory

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

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly improve your outlook and decrease 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.