Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your whole life. 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.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. People normally don’t relate 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 does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can often be challenging. Frequently, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. For these individuals hearing loss might only become apparent once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance quite gradually. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. Consequently, 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. However, compensating like this requires significant brain power. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can lead to:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re 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 a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Although scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has demonstrated that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once more, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops significantly.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people with untreated hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk diminishes substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t uncommon for individuals to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, talk to the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Over time, this sort of solitude can change the way your brain is working.

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

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 issues. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow cognitive decline and lower 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 a result of hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a few things we might recommend if hearing loss is identified:

  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and further damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.

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 cases, 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 really 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.