Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear affected, but also your social life, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. People normally don’t relate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely linked.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the link. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. It’s not uncommon for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss may only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The progression of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to notice. It’s often easy to disregard symptoms and, essentially, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. As a result, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. However, compensating in this way requires considerable brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can memory issues be the result of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly linked to the following problems.:

  • Social isolation: It’s not unusual for individuals to withdraw from social contact when they have neglected hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, talk to the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss is not uncommon according to multiple studies. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for individuals who have untreated hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk decreases significantly.

These problems are not unrelated, of course. Social solitude can exacerbate depression and other mental health problems. Likewise, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

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

  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. 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 issues begin to occur, regular screenings can identify them. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.

You don’t have to stay forgetful!

If hearing loss is causing you to be a little forgetful, it’s important to emphasize that it doesn’t have to remain that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your mental function, in many circumstances, will improve. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really 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.