Hearing Services of Nashville

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Your whole life can be affected by age-related hearing loss. Not only is your ability to hear impacted, but also your social life, your professional networks, and even your cognitive abilities. The way your brain works, including your memory and mood, can be substantially affected by hearing loss.

The relationship between cognition and hearing loss isn’t always evident. People usually don’t relate their memory issues, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The sad reality is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, the link is at least partly due to the unique ways that hearing loss can strain and stress your brain. Your mental abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How memory is impacted by hearing loss

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more discreet symptoms. Hearing loss might only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. In part, that’s because hearing loss tends to progress quite gradually. Individuals frequently begin raising the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

In addition, the human brain is really good at compensating for intermittent loss of sounds. You might not notice 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 interruptions. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate like this. Here are some consequences of asking your brain to do this over long time periods.:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability

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 are dealing with hearing loss, we can help you establish the best treatment plan.

Can memory problems be the result of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental fatigue isn’t the only way that hearing loss can impact your brain. Forgetfulness is frequently a notable presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. The cause and effect relationship isn’t fully understood, but it’s obvious that there is a link between hearing loss and the following issues:

  • Social isolation: It’s not uncommon for individuals to disengage from social contact when they have untreated hearing loss. They will frequently steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout rather than talking to a cashier. Your brain will often alter the way it processes information as a result.
  • Increased risk of dementia: The danger of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline is greater for individuals who have neglected hearing loss. When the hearing loss is effectively managed, the risk diminishes significantly.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t unusual according to multiple studies. Again, this risk has been shown to drop when the root hearing loss is successfully managed.

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

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

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

How to handle your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

If your fatigue and forgetfulness 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 might recommend the following:

  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter additional degradation of your hearing and, consequently, help prevent some of the mental strain described above.
  • Regular screenings: Before any issues start to happen, routine screenings can detect them. Managing your hearing loss early can prevent cognitive strain.
  • The use of hearing aids: Using a hearing aid can help you hear better. This can lead to less strain on your cognitive 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 issues.

You can improve your memory

You can restore strength of memory even if hearing loss is currently causing a little forgetfulness. Once the strain on your brain is alleviated, your cognitive function, in many circumstances, will improve. When your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear, the rest can be really helpful.

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

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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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