Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The link between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always obvious. People typically don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The unfortunate truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

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

How hearing loss effects memory

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be challenging. Often, people fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss might only be identified, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The advancement of hearing loss is frequently gradual over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to notice. It’s often easy to ignore symptoms and, basically, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer disruptions. But it takes a significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can hearing loss lead to memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. Although scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly linked to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of untreated hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. You’ll go out less frequently, talk 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 dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss often exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these problems are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can exacerbate depression and other mental health issues. Similarly, that kind of isolation can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of neglected hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

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

  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously discussed can be avoided and additional damage can be minimized by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to occur, routine screenings can identify them. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and decreasing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.

You don’t have to remain forgetful!

You can recover strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many cases, mental functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. 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 greatly improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other problems. Call 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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