Woman with hearing loss doing dishes because she forgot to turn the dishwasher on.

Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. She missed her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (now she has to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Things have been getting lost lately. Strangely, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and fatigued constantly.

It can be hard to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But in spite of how forgetful you may feel, the issue isn’t actually about memory. The real concern is your hearing. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your General Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing exam is the first step to improve your memory so you will remember that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will let you know how bad your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t detected any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in noisy rooms fairly well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But she could have some amount of hearing loss even though she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. As a matter of fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. It works like this:

  • Your hearing starts to diminish, maybe so slowly you don’t realize.
  • However mild, your ears start to notice a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain has to work extra hard.

That kind of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s limited resources. So things like memory and cognitive function take a back seat.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you might end up dealing with something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a connection, though there are a number of other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather murky. Still, there is a higher risk of cognitive decline in those who have neglected hearing loss, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more extreme problems.

Keeping Fatigue in Check Using Hearing Aids

That’s the reason why managing your hearing loss is crucial. According to one study, 97.3% of people who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive functions.

Numerous other studies have demonstrated similar results. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complex mix of causes and variables.

Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss

This sort of memory loss is typically temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But that can change if the underlying problems remain neglected.

So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are dealt with.

And your hearing will probably get better as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your overall health not only your hearing.

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