Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. People typically don’t relate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the link is at least partly due to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. It’s not uncommon for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these people hearing loss may only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to develop rather gradually. It’s commonly easy to disregard symptoms and, basically, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You might not detect 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 disruptions. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can hearing loss cause memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. The cause and effect relationship isn’t entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a link between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this sort of isolation can alter the way your brain is functioning.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have demonstrated that neglected hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once more, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops significantly.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People with neglected hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

These issues are not unrelated, of course. Social isolation can exacerbate depression and other cognitive health problems. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social solitude.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow down mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

The good news is, managing untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely help. Here are a number of things we might suggest if hearing loss is identified:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By preventing and decreasing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to happen, routine screenings can identify them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by the use of hearing protection.

You don’t need to remain forgetful!

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s important to highlight that it doesn’t need to stay 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 significantly improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other issues. Contact us today!

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.

Questions?


    Choose Location

    Find out how we can help!

    Call or Text Us