Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your entire life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social life, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact how your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. People usually don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Sadly, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? 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 mental abilities will improve.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be challenging. Often, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. For these individuals hearing loss may only become obvious once it has become moderate or severe. The progression of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to recognize. It’s commonly easy to dismiss symptoms and, essentially, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

In addition, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You may not detect that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. However, compensating like this requires significant brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

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 are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish the best treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a prominent presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss often have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to multiple studies. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops considerably.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, talk to the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.

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

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced 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, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a number of things we may suggest if hearing loss is identified:

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

You don’t have to stay forgetful!

You can recover strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, mental 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.

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.