Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. People normally don’t relate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, the link is at least partly the result of the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your cognitive abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be difficult. It isn’t uncommon for individuals to miss the more discreet and early signs. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to progress rather slowly. Individuals frequently 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. As a result, you may not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. But it takes a considerable 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.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are due to hearing loss or not. In cases where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Can hearing loss result in memory problems?

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

  • Social isolation: It’s not uncommon for individuals to withdraw from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals with untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk goes down substantially.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss is not unusual according to numerous studies. And once more, when the underlying hearing loss has been managed, the risk factor drops substantially.

These problems are not unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social solitude. Similarly, that type of solitude can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

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 outcomes of neglecting your hearing issues. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps considerably and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, managing untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will certainly help. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we might suggest the following:

  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify issues with your hearing before they become substantial problems. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can prevent further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the mental strain described above.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can lead to less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social situation. By avoiding and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a little forgetful, it’s worthwhile to emphasize that it doesn’t have to stay that way. In many circumstances, mental 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 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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