Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

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

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the connection is at least in part due to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. It isn’t uncommon for people to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these people hearing loss might only become apparent once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to develop rather gradually. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. Consequently, 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 significant amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

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

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. 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 depression and anxiety: Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once again, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops considerably.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals with neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk diminishes significantly.

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

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious consequences of neglecting your hearing issues. 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 down cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. Here are a few things we might recommend if hearing loss is identified:

  • 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.
  • 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: Some of the mental decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.

You don’t have to stay forgetful!

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many cases, will sharpen. When your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can greatly improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other problems. Contact us today!

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.

Call or text for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call us today.

Schedule Now