Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have broad impacts across your whole life. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social connections, your professional networks, and even your mental abilities. The way your brain works, including your mood and memory, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, the link is at least partly the result of 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 improve.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be difficult. It’s not unusual for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The advancement of hearing loss is frequently gradual over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to recognize. People often begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer disruptions. But it takes a considerable 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.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

If you’re having these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the root cause is hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to establish a treatment plan.

Can memory issues be the result of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Although scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have neglected hearing loss often exhibit an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases substantially.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from others. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Research has demonstrated that untreated hearing loss can also cause increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.

These issues are not unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also increases with social isolation.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more extreme impacts of neglected hearing loss is a significant increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

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

  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to happen, routine screenings can identify them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early management.
  • 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.

You can improve your memory

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many cases, will improve. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a lot of good.

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

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