Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have broad impacts across your overall 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 works, including your memory and mood, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For instance, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are associated with a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, the connection is at least partly the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will improve.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The advancement of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to notice. It’s commonly easy to ignore symptoms and, basically, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are more difficult to understand. This is advantageous in that you will most likely 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 periods of time.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

We will be able to help you determine whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. In situations where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been solidly linked to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss is not uncommon according to numerous studies. And once more, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops substantially.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with untreated hearing loss have been known to have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for individuals to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. 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 alter the way your brain is functioning.

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

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

One of the more extreme impacts of untreated hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive effect. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we may suggest the following:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you detect problems with your hearing before they become significant issues. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can prevent additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.

You can improve your memory

You can recover strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many cases, 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 very helpful.

Making an appointment with us can greatly improve your outlook and decrease 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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