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. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social life, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain works, including your mood and memory, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. People normally don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Sadly, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely linked.

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. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Noticing hearing loss can often be challenging. It’s not uncommon for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. For these individuals hearing loss may only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop rather slowly. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You may not notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating in this way requires significant brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop 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 affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Even though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss is not unusual according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to drop when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have neglected hearing loss have been known to have an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Over time, this type of solitude can alter the way your brain is working.

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

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and decrease 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 managing your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive impact. Here are a few things we may recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to occur, regular screenings can detect them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can lead to less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By avoiding and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be decreased by using hearing protection.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s worthwhile to highlight that it doesn’t need to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will improve. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly 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.

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