Is Your Forgetfulness The Result of Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be affected. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. People normally don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the link is at least partly the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Frequently, 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 progression of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to recognize. Individuals often begin raising 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 periodic loss of sounds. 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 daily life will have fewer disruptions. 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.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you determine whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish the best treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is especially true of untreated hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been solidly linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of neglected hearing loss is not unusual according to multiple studies. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for people to disengage from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. They will frequently avoid conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this kind of solitude can alter the way your brain is functioning.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have neglected hearing loss have been known to have an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk goes down significantly.

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

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a few things we might suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By avoiding and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can prevent additional degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to occur, routine screenings can detect them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s worthwhile to highlight that it doesn’t have to stay that way. In many instances, mental functions will return 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.

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

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.