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Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but also your social life, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For instance, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory issues are associated with a loss of hearing. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

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 connection. Your cognitive abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Noticing hearing loss can often be difficult. Often, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss might only be detected, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The development of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially difficult to recognize. People often begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is very good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You might not detect that it’s becoming more difficult 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 substantial amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Requiring your brain to execute at this level for long durations can result in:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the underlying cause is 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 memory issues be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a prominent presentation. This is especially true of untreated hearing loss. The cause and effect relationship isn’t entirely 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 numerous studies. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops considerably.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. This risk declines considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.

These problems are not unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more serious impacts of neglected hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps substantially. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive effect. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we may recommend the following:

  • 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.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to happen, regular screenings can identify them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • 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 little forgetful, it’s important to highlight that it doesn’t have to stay that way. In many circumstances, cognitive functions will come back once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other issues. 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.