Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The relationship between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For instance, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely linked.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the link is at least in part related to 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 impacts memory

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Frequently, individuals miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The development of hearing loss is usually gradual over time and that’s partly why it’s initially difficult to notice. It’s commonly easy to ignore symptoms and, basically, raise 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 might not notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. 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 figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you formulate the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss lead to memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. The cause and effect relationship is not fully understood, but it’s clear that there is a relationship between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for people with neglected hearing loss. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this kind of isolation can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss isn’t unusual according to numerous studies. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops substantially.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. Likewise, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. 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 cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might suggest the following:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can lead to less strain on your cognitive 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.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect problems with your hearing before they become significant issues. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a little forgetful, it’s worthwhile to emphasize that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many instances, will improve. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have 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 problems.

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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.