Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be impacted. Over time, hearing loss can profoundly impact the way your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory troubles are associated with a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the connection is at least partly the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How hearing loss effects memory

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be challenging. Frequently, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance rather slowly. People often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are more difficult to understand. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating like this requires considerable brain power. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long durations can lead to:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can hearing loss lead to memory problems?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is particularly true of untreated hearing loss. The cause and effect relationship isn’t fully understood, but it’s clear that there is a link between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to multiple 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 cognitive decline is greater for individuals who have untreated hearing loss. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for people to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, chat 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 issues, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. Likewise, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more severe outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

The good news is, managing untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we may recommend the following:

  • 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 problems can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to happen, regular screenings can detect them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: Using hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the mental strain described above.

You can improve your memory

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

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

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.