Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your whole life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be impacted. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For instance, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory problems are associated with a loss of hearing. Sadly, the truth 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. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to notice. Frequently, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. For these people hearing loss might only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop rather slowly. It’s often easy to dismiss 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. As a result, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is advantageous in that you will likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. 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 time periods.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we’ll be able to tell you whether the underlying cause is hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop the best treatment plan.

Can memory problems be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. 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: Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once more, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this sort of solitude can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with neglected hearing loss have been known to exhibit an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. Similarly, that kind of isolation can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more serious impacts of untreated 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 considerably. In other words, treating 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

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive effect. Here are a few things we may suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can prevent additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect problems with your hearing before they become substantial issues. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early management.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can lead to less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You don’t need to remain forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. In many cases, mental functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you significantly improve your outlook and decrease your risk of other problems.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.