Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be impacted 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 profoundly impact how your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The relationship between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory problems are linked to a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, the relationship is at least partly due to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Noticing hearing loss can often be challenging. It isn’t unusual for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. 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. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might not notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating like this requires substantial brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re 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 fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. This is especially true of untreated hearing loss. Even though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well linked to the following issues.:

  • 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. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to drop when the underlying hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals who have untreated hearing loss. This risk declines dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from others. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this sort of solitude can alter the way your brain is functioning.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Social solitude can exacerbate depression and other cognitive health issues. Likewise, that kind of solitude can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear 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 later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive effect. Here are a few things we might suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, routine screenings can identify them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social situation. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and further damage can be minimized by the use of hearing protection.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many cases, 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 significantly 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.