Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have broad impacts across your entire life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be affected. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory problems are linked to a loss of hearing. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, the relationship is at least partly related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more severe. The development of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to notice. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is very good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer disruptions. However, compensating in this way requires substantial brain power. Here are some 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 a result of hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. The cause and effect relationship isn’t entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss often have an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: It’s not uncommon for people to withdraw from social contact when they have neglected hearing loss. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops significantly.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Social isolation can worsen depression and other mental health problems. And your risk of dementia also increases with social isolation.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more serious impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

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

  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early management.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive 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. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By avoiding and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.

You don’t have to remain forgetful!

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your mental function, in many cases, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and decrease 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.