Is Your Forgetfulness Due to Hearing Loss?

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 works, including your mood and memory, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People typically don’t associate their memory problems, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the connection. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will improve.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. It’s not unusual for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these people hearing loss may only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. The progression of hearing loss is usually gradual over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to detect. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are harder to understand. 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 in this way. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long durations can result in:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. In instances where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can memory problems be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a prominent presentation. This is especially true of untreated 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.:

  • 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 with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of neglected hearing loss is not uncommon according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for people who have neglected hearing loss. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these issues are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social isolation. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

The good news is, treating untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a number of things we might suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to occur, regular screenings can detect them. Mental strain can be avoided with early management.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be minimized by the use of hearing protection.
  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.

You don’t need to remain forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. 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.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly improve your outlook and decrease your risk of other problems.

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.