Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be affected 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. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, the relationship is at least in part the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your cognitive abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Often, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to advance quite slowly. It’s commonly easy to disregard symptoms and, essentially, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Additionally, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can lead to:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can hearing loss cause memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been solidly linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with neglected hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: It’s not uncommon for people to disengage from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this kind of solitude can alter the way your brain is functioning.

All of these problems are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this may 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.

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 effect. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might suggest the following:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can lead to less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to occur, routine screenings can detect them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.

You can improve your memory

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many circumstances, cognitive functions will come back once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear, the rest can be very helpful.

Make 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.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text