Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have broad impacts across your overall life. Not only is your ability to hear affected, but so too are your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. The unfortunate reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, the connection is at least partly related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be challenging. It’s not uncommon for people to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss may only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The development of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially difficult to notice. It’s commonly easy to disregard symptoms and, basically, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

In addition, the human brain is quite good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. As a result, you may not notice that people are more difficult to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

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

Can hearing loss result in memory issues?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is often a prominent presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. Even though scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well connected to the following issues.:

  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to separate themselves from others. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with neglected hearing loss have been known to exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk decreases significantly.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of neglected hearing loss isn’t unusual according to multiple studies. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.

All of these issues are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social solitude.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more extreme impacts of untreated hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow down cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can definitely have a positive effect. Here are a few things we might recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become significant issues. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and further damage can be decreased by using hearing protection.
  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You can improve your memory

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

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other problems. Call 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.