Is Your Forgetfulness Due to Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. People normally don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What does hearing loss 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. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The development of hearing loss is frequently gradual over time and that’s partly why it’s initially difficult to detect. It’s commonly easy to disregard symptoms and, basically, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another factor 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. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer disruptions. However, compensating in this way requires considerable brain power. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long durations can result in:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

If you’re noticing 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 formulate the best treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the result of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is often a prominent presentation. This is especially true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has shown that neglected hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Social isolation: It’s not uncommon for individuals to disengage from social contact when they have neglected hearing loss. You’ll go out less frequently, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for individuals with untreated hearing loss. This risk declines dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social solitude can worsen depression and other mental health problems. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more extreme impacts of neglected hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps substantially. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow down mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. Here are a few things we might recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. 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 additional damage can be reduced by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.

You don’t have to remain forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your mental function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a lot of good.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially 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.