Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be affected. The way your brain functions, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. The unfortunate reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, the connection is at least partly related 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 memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Frequently, people miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance rather gradually. It’s often easy to disregard symptoms and, essentially, 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. Consequently, you may not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is beneficial in that you will most likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating in this way requires significant brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. The cause and effect relationship is not entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from other people. They will frequently avoid conversations and will do things like using self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Over time, this type of isolation can alter the way your brain is functioning.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk diminishes substantially.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has demonstrated that neglected hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.

These problems aren’t unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social isolation.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more severe outcomes of neglecting your hearing issues. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

The good news is, managing untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely help. Here are a number of things we might suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you detect problems 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. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be decreased 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 cases, mental functions will return 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.

Making an appointment with us can significantly improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other issues. Call us today!

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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.
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