Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your overall life can be impacted 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. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

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

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your cognitive abilities will improve.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Detecting hearing loss can frequently be difficult. Frequently, people miss 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 progression of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to detect. It’s commonly easy to ignore symptoms and, essentially, raise the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Additionally, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You might not notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. 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.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be impacted by hearing loss in other ways besides fatigue. Forgetfulness is often a notable presentation. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Although 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 as a result of neglected hearing loss isn’t uncommon according to numerous studies. And once more, when the root hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops significantly.
  • Increased risk of dementia: People who have untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for people to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. 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.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social isolation can exacerbate depression and other cognitive health problems. Similarly, that type of solitude can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

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 issues. It’s quite 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 reduce cognitive decline and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, managing neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will certainly help. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might recommend the following:

  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible issues can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be decreased by the use of hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become significant issues. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. In many instances, mental functions will return once your brain doesn’t need to strain so hard. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and decrease your risk of other issues.

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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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