Is Your Forgetfulness Resulting From Hearing Loss?

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 cognitive clarity can also be impacted. The way your brain functions, including your memory and mood, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For instance, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the connection. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Hearing loss can be difficult to notice. Frequently, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop rather slowly. It’s commonly easy to ignore symptoms and, essentially, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Additionally, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You may not notice that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will 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:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop the best treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome 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 particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: People with untreated hearing loss often have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss is not unusual according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to drop when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • 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 instead of talking to a cashier. Over time, this kind of isolation can alter the way your brain is functioning.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social isolation. And your risk of dementia also increases with social isolation.

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that managing your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive effect. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we may suggest the following:

  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect problems with your hearing before they become substantial problems. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using 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. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You don’t have to remain forgetful!

If hearing loss is causing you to be a little forgetful, it’s important to emphasize that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need 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 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.