Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be impacted. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are associated with a loss of hearing. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the relationship is at least partly the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your cognitive abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Frequently, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be identified, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The progression of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to detect. It’s often easy to dismiss symptoms and, basically, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You may not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will most likely experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can result in:

  • 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. If it’s established that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss cause memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. The cause and effect relationship isn’t entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from other people. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Over time, this type of solitude can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people with neglected hearing loss. This risk falls considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to multiple studies. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops substantially.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Social isolation can worsen depression and other cognitive health problems. Similarly, that type of isolation can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this might be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will definitely help. Here are a few things we may recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, regular screenings can detect them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be reduced by using hearing protection.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. 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.

You can improve your memory

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many circumstances, cognitive 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 really helpful.

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

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