Is Your Forgetfulness Due to Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have diverse impacts across your whole 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 significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are associated with a loss of hearing. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

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

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. Often, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The development of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to detect. It’s often easy to dismiss symptoms and, basically, raise 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. You may not detect that it’s becoming more difficult 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 considerable amount of brain power to compensate like this. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

If you’re noticing these symptoms, we’ll be able to tell you whether the underlying cause is hearing loss or not. In situations where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to formulate a treatment plan.

Can memory problems be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. The cause and effect relationship is not fully understood, but it’s clear that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of neglected hearing loss is not uncommon according to multiple studies. And once more, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss frequently have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t uncommon for individuals to disengage from social contact when they have neglected hearing loss. They will frequently steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.

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

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

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 problems. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow down mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive effect. Here are a few things we may suggest if hearing loss is identified:

  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you detect issues with your hearing before they become substantial problems. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can prevent further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.

You can improve your memory

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 mental 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.

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other problems. Contact us today!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a personalized free hearing test and hearing loss consultation, call today to set up an appointment.

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