Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear affected, but also your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. Over time, hearing loss can profoundly impact the way your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the relationship 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 problems are associated with a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

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

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Detecting hearing loss can often be challenging. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. For these individuals hearing loss might only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to advance quite slowly. People frequently 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 notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating in this way requires considerable brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. In situations where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to establish a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss result in memory issues?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is especially true. Although scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for individuals to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. They will frequently avoid 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.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals who have untreated hearing loss. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t unusual according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. Similarly, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more extreme impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. 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 cognitive decline and lower 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 managing your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive effect. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might recommend the following:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and further damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect issues with your hearing before they become significant problems. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can result in less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s important to emphasize that it doesn’t have to stay that way. 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 really helpful.

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

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.