Is Your Forgetfulness Due to Hearing Loss?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have diverse impacts across your overall life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be impacted. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always apparent. For example, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory problems are linked to a loss of hearing. The unfortunate 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 related 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 hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be identified, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to progress rather slowly. It’s commonly easy to dismiss symptoms and, essentially, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will probably experience fewer disruptions to your daily life. But it takes a considerable amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long periods can result in:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can memory issues be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. The cause and effect relationship is not fully understood, but it’s clear that there is a relationship between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have untreated hearing loss frequently have an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk goes down significantly.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t unusual for people to disengage from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. You’ll go out less often, chat with the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this kind of solitude can change the way your brain is working.
  • 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 shown to drop when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.

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

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more extreme impacts of neglected hearing loss is a marked increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this might be, but what’s obvious is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow 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 untreated hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is caused by hearing loss, will definitely help. In cases where hearing loss is identified, we might suggest the following:

  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to happen, regular screenings can identify them. Mental strain can be avoided with early treatment.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your mental abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and additional damage can be reduced by using hearing protection.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s important to highlight that it doesn’t need to remain that way. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will improve. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t have to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

Making an appointment with us can significantly improve your outlook and decrease 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.


    Find out how we can help!

    Call or Text Us