Could Hearing Loss be Making You Forgetful?

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have diverse impacts across your whole life. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but so too are your social connections, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain functions, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the link between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss could be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory issues are linked to a loss of hearing. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What’s the connection between memory and hearing loss? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least to some extent, the connection. Often, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will improve.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Noticing hearing loss can frequently be difficult. It isn’t uncommon for individuals to miss the more subtle and early signs. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more severe. In part, that’s because hearing loss has a tendency to develop quite gradually. People often begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to ignore their symptoms.

Additionally, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You may not notice that it’s becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying as a result. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer interruptions. However, compensating like this requires substantial brain power. Requiring your brain to work at this level for long durations can lead to:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained irritability

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

Can hearing loss lead to memory problems?

Obviously, your brain can be affected by hearing loss in other ways besides mental exhaustion. Forgetfulness is frequently a prominent presentation. This is particularly true of neglected hearing loss. Although scientists aren’t perfectly clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well linked to 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 demonstrated to decrease when the root hearing loss is effectively managed.
  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will frequently begin to isolate themselves from other people. They will frequently steer clear of conversations and will do things like using self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The risk of dementia and other forms of mental decline is greater for individuals who have neglected hearing loss. This risk declines considerably when the hearing loss is treated and managed.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Social solitude can worsen depression and other cognitive health issues. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social solitude.

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 severe consequences of neglecting your hearing problems. It’s quite clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a number of theories as to why. 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.

Dealing with hearing loss related forgetfulness

If your fatigue and forgetfulness are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that managing your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we might recommend the following:

  • Regular screenings: Before any problems start to happen, regular screenings can detect them. Treating your hearing loss early can prevent mental strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can result in less strain on your cognitive abilities and an improvement in your social scenario. By avoiding and reducing social isolation, your cognition can improve, lowering your risk of dementia, depression, and other issues.
  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, 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 highlight that it doesn’t need to remain that way. Once the strain on your brain is relieved, your mental function, in many cases, will improve. When your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

Scheduling an appointment with us can drastically improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other problems. 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.

Talk To Us.

To send us a non-urgent message use the message us button on the bottom right of your screen.

Our contact form is for non-urgent questions only and should not be used for life threatening or urgent medical questions. You should contact 911 for life threatening emergencies.