Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your entire 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 affected. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People typically don’t relate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the connection. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to notice. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The advancement of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to notice. People frequently begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. As a result, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. 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 like this. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to 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 fatigue. Forgetfulness is frequently a prominent presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is especially true. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following problems.:

  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less often, talk with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this kind of isolation can alter the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has demonstrated that neglected hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have neglected hearing loss often exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down significantly.

These problems are not unrelated, of course. Social isolation can worsen depression and other mental health issues. Likewise, that type of isolation can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

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

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will definitely help. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might suggest the following:

  • 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. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you detect issues with your hearing before they become substantial issues. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the mental strain outlined above.

You don’t have to stay forgetful!

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s important to emphasize that it doesn’t need to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your mental function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Making an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other problems. 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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