Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your entire life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear affected, but also your social connections, your professional networks, and even your mental abilities. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact how your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. People typically don’t associate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be challenging. Often, 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 extreme. The advancement of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to detect. People frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is very good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. Consequently, you might not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating like this requires considerable brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. In situations where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss result in memory problems?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been solidly connected to the following issues.:

  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from others. You’ll go out less frequently, talk to the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Over time, this type of solitude can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of neglected hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to numerous studies. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops considerably.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People with neglected hearing loss often have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

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

Can cognitive 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 severe outcomes of neglecting your hearing issues. 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 mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss 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 number of things we might recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to occur, routine screenings can detect them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.
  • 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 issues 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 highlight that it doesn’t need to remain that way. In many circumstances, mental functions will come back 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 very helpful.

Making an appointment with us can greatly improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other problems. Contact us today!

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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.
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