Call Us Today! 817-835-8781

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be impacted by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. Over time, hearing loss can profoundly impact how your brain works in ways that immediately impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For instance, one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but individuals rarely think that their memory troubles are linked to a loss of hearing. Unfortunately, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely connected.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a unique strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the connection. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are effectively managed, your cognitive abilities will sharpen.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can often be difficult. Frequently, people miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop rather slowly. It’s often easy to dismiss symptoms and, essentially, turn up the volume on your television a little more every few days (or weeks).

Additionally, the human brain is very good at compensating for periodic loss of sounds. You may not detect that it’s becoming harder to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your daily life will have fewer disruptions. However, compensating like this requires substantial brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long periods of time.:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can memory issues be the outcome of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is particularly true. The cause and effect relationship isn’t entirely understood, but it’s clear that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t unusual according to numerous studies. Again, this risk has been shown to decrease when the underlying hearing loss is successfully managed.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for people with neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk decreases substantially.
  • Social isolation: It isn’t uncommon for individuals to disengage from social contact when they have neglected hearing loss. They will often steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often change the way it processes information as a result.

These problems aren’t unrelated, of course. Mental health issues, including depression, can be intensified by social isolation. Similarly, that type of isolation can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Can mental decline be caused by hearing loss?

Your risk of mental decline and dementia is increased by neglected hearing loss, and that’s one of the more serious outcomes 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, managing your hearing loss has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life.

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 certainly help. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might recommend the following:

  • 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 scenario. By avoiding and decreasing social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues begin to occur, routine screenings can detect them. Cognitive strain can be avoided with early management.
  • Hearing protection: Some of the cognitive decline previously mentioned can be avoided and further damage can be reduced by the use of hearing protection.

You don’t need to stay forgetful!

If hearing loss is causing you to be a bit forgetful, it’s worthwhile to highlight that it doesn’t need to stay that way. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many cases, will sharpen. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be very helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and decrease your risk for other issues. Call us today!

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 Us Today