Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall 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 impacted. The way your brain functions, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. People usually don’t associate their memory problems, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The unfortunate reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the connection is at least partly the result of 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 improve.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be difficult. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be detected, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. The development of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to notice. It’s often easy to dismiss symptoms and, essentially, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating in this way requires substantial brain power. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long periods can lead to:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

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

Can hearing loss result in memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is often a prominent presentation. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been strongly connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from others. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with neglected hearing loss often have an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk declines considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can worsen depression and other mental health issues. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social isolation.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

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

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

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

  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social situation. 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: Before any issues begin to happen, routine screenings can identify them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: Using hearing protection can prevent further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.

You can improve your memory

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, cognitive functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be very helpful.

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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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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