Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your entire life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be impacted. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. Sadly, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the link. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. It’s not unusual for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these individuals hearing loss may only become noticeable once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance rather slowly. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is very good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. Consequently, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. 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 find out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. This is particularly true of untreated hearing loss. The cause and effect relationship isn’t fully understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have demonstrated that untreated hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have untreated hearing loss often exhibit an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk goes down significantly.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Social solitude can exacerbate depression and other mental health issues. Likewise, that kind of isolation can also increase 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 serious outcomes of neglecting your hearing issues. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

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

  • 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 cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.

You can improve your memory

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. In many circumstances, mental functions will come back 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.

Scheduling an appointment with us can greatly improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other issues. 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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