Hearing Solutions - Yukon, OK

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-related hearing loss can have broad impacts across your whole life. Not only is your ability to hear affected, but also your social life, your professional networks, and even your mental abilities. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is elusive. For example, one of the initial symptoms of hearing loss may be forgetfulness, but people rarely think that their memory problems are associated with a loss of hearing. Sadly, the truth is that memory loss and hearing loss are closely related.

What does hearing loss have to do with memory? Well, the connection is at least in part related to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Usually, when your hearing loss symptoms are successfully managed, your mental abilities will improve.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Noticing hearing loss can often be challenging. It’s not 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 advance rather slowly. Individuals frequently begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to disregard their symptoms.

Another aspect is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are harder to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer disruptions. However, compensating like this requires considerable brain power. Here are a few consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Unexplained irritability
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Chronic fatigue

If you’re noticing these symptoms, we’ll be able to tell you whether the underlying cause is 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 hearing loss cause memory problems?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is a common symptom. This is especially true of neglected hearing loss. Although scientists aren’t completely clear as to the cause and effect relationship, hearing loss has been well linked to the following problems.:

  • Social isolation: People with neglected hearing loss will often begin to isolate themselves from others. They will frequently 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: People who have untreated hearing loss frequently exhibit an increased danger of dementia and cognitive decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases substantially.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown that neglected hearing loss can also result in increases in both depression and anxiety over time. And once again, when the underlying hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops considerably.

All of these issues are obviously intertwined. Mental health issues, including depression, can be worsened by social solitude. And your risk of dementia also goes up with social isolation.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more extreme impacts of untreated hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of mental decline and dementia. 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 mental decline and lower your risk of developing dementia down the road.

Dealing with hearing loss induced forgetfulness

If your fatigue and memory loss are caused by untreated hearing loss, the good news is that treating your hearing loss symptoms can absolutely have a positive impact. In cases where hearing loss is detected, we may suggest the following:

  • Regular screenings: Regular screenings can help you identify problems with your hearing before they become significant problems. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • 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 situation. By avoiding and limiting social isolation, your cognition can improve, decreasing your risk of dementia, depression, and other problems.
  • Hearing protection: The use of hearing protection can prevent further degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the mental strain outlined above.

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 mental function, in many circumstances, will sharpen. When you hear better, your brain doesn’t need to work so hard, and that rest can do a world of good.

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

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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.