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Fine Hearing Care - Edmond, OK

Confused mature business woman suffering from memory loss

Age-associated hearing loss can have diverse impacts across your whole life. Besides your ability to hear, your professional life, your social life, and even your mental clarity can also be affected. Over time, hearing loss can intensely impact the way your brain works in ways that directly impact your mood, your memory, and more.

Sometimes, the relationship between hearing loss and cognition is subtle. People typically don’t relate their memory problems, for instance, with hearing loss even though it’s one of the very first symptoms. The sad truth is that hearing loss and memory loss go hand-in-hand.

What does loss of hearing have to do with memory? Well, hearing loss puts a distinctive strain on your brain and that’s, at least in part, the link. Your cognitive abilities will usually improve when you manage your hearing loss.

How hearing loss impacts memory

Hearing loss can be hard to detect. Often, individuals miss the early warning signs and more subtle symptoms. Hearing loss may only be recognized, for people in this category, when it becomes more extreme. The advancement of hearing loss is usually slow over time and that’s in part why it’s initially hard to recognize. People frequently begin increasing the volume on their devices more and more and tend to dismiss their symptoms.

Another factor is how good the brain is at compensating for loss of sound. Consequently, you might not notice that people are more difficult to understand. The positive thing about this is that your day-to-day life will have fewer disruptions. But it takes a substantial amount of brain power to compensate like this. Requiring your brain to perform at this level for long periods can lead to:

  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Chronic fatigue

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

Can memory problems be the outcome of hearing loss?

Of course, this mental exhaustion isn’t the only way that hearing loss can affect your brain. Forgetfulness is often a prominent presentation. When hearing loss has gone untreated, this is especially true. The cause and effect relationship is not entirely understood, but it’s obvious that there is a connection between hearing loss and the following problems:

  • Increased risk of dementia: Individuals who have untreated hearing loss frequently have an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. When the hearing loss is effectively treated, the risk decreases substantially.
  • Social isolation: Individuals with untreated hearing loss will often begin to separate themselves from others. They will frequently steer clear of conversations and will do things like going to self-checkout instead of talking to a cashier. Over time, this sort of solitude can change the way your brain is working.
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety: An increase in anxiety and depression due to untreated hearing loss isn’t unusual according to multiple studies. And once more, when the root hearing loss has been treated, the risk factor drops considerably.

All of these concerns are obviously intertwined. Mental health issues, including depression, can be worsened by social isolation. Likewise, that kind of isolation can also increase your risk of developing dementia.

Does hearing loss cause mental decline?

One of the more extreme impacts of untreated hearing loss is a pronounced increase in your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. It’s very clear that management of the symptoms helps significantly and scientists have a number of theories as to why. In other words, managing your hearing loss has been shown to slow mental decline and decrease your risk of developing dementia down the road.

How to deal with your forgetfulness (and hearing loss)

The good news is, managing neglected hearing loss, if your forgetfulness is a result of hearing loss, will certainly help. Here are a few things we may suggest if hearing loss is detected:

  • Hearing protection: The utilization of hearing protection can counter further degradation of your hearing and, as a result, help prevent some of the mental strain described above.
  • Regular screenings: Before any problems begin to occur, routine screenings can identify them. Mental strain can be avoided with early management.
  • The use of hearing aids: You will hear better with the use of a hearing aid. This can result in less strain on your mental abilities and an improvement in your social situation. Your risk of dementia, depression, and other possible problems can be decreased and your cognition can be improved by limiting your social isolation.

You can improve your memory

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

Making an appointment with us can significantly improve your outlook and reduce your risk for other problems. Contact 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.
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