Can Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For instance, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. Sadly, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, the relationship 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 memory is impacted by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be difficult. It isn’t unusual for people to miss the more subtle and early signs. For these people hearing loss may only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. The development of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s partly why it’s initially hard to recognize. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You might not notice that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating in this way requires substantial brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

If you’re noticing these symptoms, we’ll be able to inform you whether the root cause is hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you formulate the best treatment plan.

Can hearing loss result in memory issues?

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

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can also lead to increases in both depression and anxiety over time. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have neglected hearing loss have been known to exhibit an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. This risk drops dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from others. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.

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

Does hearing loss cause cognitive decline?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by untreated hearing loss, and that’s one of the more severe consequences of neglecting your hearing problems. Scientists have a few theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps considerably. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might recommend the following:

  • Hearing protection: Some of the mental decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be minimized by using hearing protection.
  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become substantial problems. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Utilizing a hearing aid can help you hear better. 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 reduced and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

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

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other issues. Call us today!

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.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text