Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The relationship between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. For instance, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the connection. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Detecting hearing loss can often be challenging. It’s not uncommon for people to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these individuals hearing loss may only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. The development of hearing loss is often gradual over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to notice. Individuals frequently 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. You may 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 day-to-day life will have fewer disruptions. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

If you’re having these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the underlying cause is hearing loss or not. If it’s determined that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you formulate the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Even though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has shown that neglected hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops significantly.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this kind of solitude can change the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with neglected hearing loss frequently have an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social solitude.

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious outcomes of neglecting your hearing issues. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive impact. 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 decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to occur, regular screenings can detect them. 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 mental strain described above.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s important to emphasize that it doesn’t need to remain that way. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will improve. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a lot of good.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and reduce your risk of other issues.

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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.