Is Your Forgetfulness Due to Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but also your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. People normally don’t associate their memory issues, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the link is at least partly due to 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 difficult to detect. Often, people miss 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 develop quite slowly. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might 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 interruptions. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long periods can result in:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

If you’re noticing these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the root cause is hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can memory problems 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. This is especially true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with untreated hearing loss often have an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, talk to the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of untreated hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the underlying hearing loss is effectively managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social solitude can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. And your risk of dementia also increases with social isolation.

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow down cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that managing your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we may suggest the following:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by using 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 situation. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • 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.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

You can regain 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 circumstances, will sharpen. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can significantly improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other issues. Call 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.

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