Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your overall life. 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.

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

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the connection is at least partly related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be challenging. It isn’t unusual for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to develop rather slowly. It’s often easy to ignore symptoms and, essentially, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You may not detect that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will probably experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate like this. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to establish a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss lead to memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is especially true. Though scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have demonstrated that neglected hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the underlying hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for people who have neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.

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

Can cognitive 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 consequences of neglecting your hearing issues. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow down mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. Here are a few things we might suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become substantial issues. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be decreased 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. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You don’t need to remain forgetful!

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

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly improve your outlook and reduce your risk of other issues.

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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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