Can Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your entire 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. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The relationship between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. The unfortunate reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the connection is at least partly related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will normally improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is Affected by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. For these people hearing loss might only become evident once it has become moderate or severe. The progression of hearing loss is frequently slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially difficult to detect. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is quite good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You might not detect that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will most likely experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate in this way. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can hearing loss cause memory issues?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a prevalent symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. Though scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well connected to the following issues.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to neglected hearing loss isn’t unusual according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people who have untreated hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases significantly.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk to the cashier at the supermarket less, and so on. Over time, this type of isolation can change the way your brain is functioning.

These issues aren’t unrelated, of course. Social isolation can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. Likewise, that type of solitude can also raise your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

Your risk of cognitive decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more severe consequences of neglecting your hearing issues. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to reduce mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

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

  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. By preventing and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Hearing protection: Using hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Mental strain can be avoided with early management.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s worthwhile to highlight that it doesn’t have to remain that way. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many instances, will improve. 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.

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.