Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of 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 so too are your social life, your professional networks, and even your mental abilities. Over time, hearing loss can profoundly impact how your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are associated with a loss of hearing. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will improve.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Often, people miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. For these people hearing loss may only become obvious once it has become moderate or severe. The advancement of hearing loss is frequently gradual over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to notice. It’s often easy to disregard symptoms and, basically, turn up 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. You may 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. However, compensating in this way requires substantial brain power. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can result in:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • 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 memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is especially true of neglected hearing loss. Even though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t unusual according to numerous studies. And once more, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for people with neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases significantly.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from others. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this type of solitude can change the way your brain is working.

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

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious consequences of neglecting your hearing problems. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow cognitive decline and decrease 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 definitely help. Here are a number of things we may recommend if hearing loss is identified:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become significant issues. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • 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. By preventing and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.

You can improve your memory

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. In many circumstances, cognitive functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a lot of good.

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

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.