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Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have broad impacts across your entire life. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but also your social life, your professional networks, and even your mental abilities. Over time, hearing loss can profoundly impact how your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

The connection between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people 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 does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the link is at least partly related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How hearing loss effects memory

Detecting hearing loss can often be challenging. Frequently, people miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. For these people hearing loss may only become obvious once it has become moderate or severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to advance quite slowly. People frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is really good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You may not detect that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. This is beneficial in that you will probably experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating like this requires considerable brain power. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long periods can lead to:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you find out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. In situations where hearing loss is present, we’ll work with you to formulate 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 common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. Even though scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect connection, hearing loss has been well connected to the following problems.:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression as a result of untreated hearing loss is not unusual according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from other people. They will often avoid conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have untreated hearing loss often exhibit an increased danger of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk diminishes substantially.

These problems aren’t unrelated, of course. Mental health issues, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also increases with social solitude.

Can cognitive 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 severe outcomes of neglecting your hearing problems. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps substantially and scientists have a few theories as to why. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by neglected hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. Here are a number of things we might recommend if hearing loss is identified:

  • Regular screenings: Routine screenings can help you identify problems with your hearing before they become significant problems. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the cognitive strain described above.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. Your social life can be improved and your cognitive abilities will have less strain by using hearing aids. By preventing and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.

You can improve your memory

You can regain strength of memory even if hearing loss is presently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. 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 significantly 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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