Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

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. The way your brain works, including your mood and memory, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People typically don’t associate their memory problems, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely linked.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the connection. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. It’s not unusual for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. Hearing loss might only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The development of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to notice. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. As a result, you may not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is beneficial in that you will most likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating in this way requires significant brain power. Requiring your brain to work 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 a result of hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish 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 notable presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Although scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been solidly connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss is not unusual according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to drop when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for people with neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases substantially.
  • 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, talk with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this type of isolation can alter the way your brain is working.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social solitude. Likewise, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious consequences of neglecting your hearing issues. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps substantially. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

The good news is, treating neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a number of things we may recommend if hearing loss is identified:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive 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.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to occur, routine screenings can identify them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.

You can improve your memory

You can recover strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, cognitive functions will come back 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.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and decrease 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.