Can Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your overall life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be impacted. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The connection 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 problems are associated with a loss of hearing. The unfortunate reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Your cognitive abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. Often, people miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop rather gradually. Individuals frequently begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are harder to understand. This is beneficial in that you will most likely experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long durations can result in:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are a result of 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?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Even though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals with neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk goes down significantly.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, talk to the cashier at the supermarket 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 as a result of untreated hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to multiple studies. And once more, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Mental health issues, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

The good news is, managing neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely 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. This can result in less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Mental 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 important to highlight that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your mental function, in many circumstances, 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 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.

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