Can Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but also your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People usually don’t associate their memory issues, for example, 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 linked.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the link. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will sharpen.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be difficult. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to advance quite slowly. Individuals frequently begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is very good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. Consequently, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating like this requires significant brain power. 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 noticing these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the root cause is hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you formulate the best treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is especially true. Even though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been solidly linked to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have demonstrated that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals who have untreated hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk decreases substantially.
  • 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, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.

All of these problems are obviously intertwined. Mental health problems, including depression, can be worsened by social isolation. Likewise, that kind of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

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

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

The good news is, treating untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely help. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we might 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. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you detect problems with your hearing before they become significant issues. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.

You don’t need 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 instances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and reduce your risk of other problems.

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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    Delaney Hearing Center

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    Fredericksburg, VA

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