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 mental 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.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are associated with a loss of hearing. Sadly, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the link. Your cognitive abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance rather gradually. People often begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You might not notice that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating in this way requires significant brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

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. The cause and effect relationship is not fully understood, but it’s obvious that there is a link between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for individuals with untreated hearing loss. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from other people. They will frequently avoid conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Over time, this sort of solitude can alter the way your brain is functioning.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss is not uncommon according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.

All of these issues are obviously intertwined. Social solitude can exacerbate depression and other cognitive health problems. Likewise, that type of solitude can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental 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 consequences of neglecting your hearing problems. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow cognitive decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

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

  • Hearing protection: Using hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the mental strain outlined above.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can lead to less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to happen, regular screenings can identify them. Mental strain can be avoided with early management.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a little forgetful, it’s worthwhile to highlight that it doesn’t need to stay that way. In many instances, mental functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can significantly 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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