Hearing Health Blog

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your cognitive clarity can also be impacted. The way your brain works, including your mood and memory, can be significantly affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the connection between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People normally don’t associate their memory problems, for instance, 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 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 connection. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss effects memory

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be difficult. It’s not uncommon for people to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these individuals hearing loss might only become apparent once it has become moderate or severe. The progression of hearing loss is often slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to notice. People often begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

In addition, 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. However, compensating in this way 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

We will be able to help you figure 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 formulate a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss lead to memory issues?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is often a prominent presentation. This is especially true of untreated hearing loss. Even though scientists aren’t entirely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have neglected hearing loss frequently have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss is not uncommon according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from others. You’ll go out less frequently, chat with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this sort of solitude can change the way your brain is working.

All of these problems are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

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 outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. Scientists have a few theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow down cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

The good news is, treating untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely help. Here are a few things we might recommend if hearing loss is detected:

  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.
  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become significant issues. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. 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, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.

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 alleviated, your mental function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Make an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and decrease 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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