Call or Text Us! 708-628-5932

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

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

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People typically don’t associate their memory problems, for example, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the first symptoms. Unfortunately, the reality is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What’s the link between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the connection. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your cognitive abilities will improve.

How hearing loss effects memory

Hearing loss can be hard to notice. Frequently, individuals fail to notice the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss might only be identified, for individuals in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to progress quite gradually. Individuals often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. You might not notice that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. This is advantageous in that you will probably experience fewer interruptions to your daily life. However, compensating like this requires substantial brain power. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

We will be able to help you figure out whether these symptoms are a result of hearing loss or not. If it’s established that you’re dealing with hearing loss, we can help you develop the best treatment plan.

Can memory problems be the result of hearing loss?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has been neglected, this is particularly true. The cause and effect relationship isn’t fully understood, but it’s obvious that there is a relationship between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have neglected hearing loss often exhibit an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. This risk falls dramatically when the hearing loss is treated and managed.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss is not uncommon according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from other people. You’ll go out less frequently, talk to the cashier at the grocery store less, and so on. Over time, this kind of solitude can alter the way your brain is functioning.

These problems are not unrelated, of course. Mental health problems, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social isolation.

Can cognitive decline be caused by hearing loss?

One of the more severe impacts of untreated hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Scientists have some theories about why this may be, but what’s clear is that management of symptoms helps significantly. In other words, treating your hearing loss has been shown to slow down mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, treating neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will definitely help. Here are a number of things we might suggest if hearing loss is identified:

  • 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 avoiding and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to occur, regular screenings can detect them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the cognitive strain outlined above.

You can improve your memory

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s worthwhile to emphasize that it doesn’t have to remain that way. In many cases, cognitive functions will return 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 really helpful.

Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you substantially improve your outlook and reduce your risk of other issues.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us