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

Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before bedtime (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. But despite how forgetful you may feel, the trouble isn’t actually about memory. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, having a hearing exam is the first step to enhance your memory so you will remember that eye exam and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will let you know how severe your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. As a matter of fact, memory loss is often one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. Here’s how it works:

  • Your hearing starts to diminish, maybe so slowly you don’t realize.
  • However slight, your ears start to detect a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you do hear, have to be boosted and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • You can’t detect any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be dragged down by that type of burden. So things such as memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though there are a number of other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather murky. Still, there is an increased risk of cognitive decline with people who have neglected hearing loss, starting with some minor memory issues and escalating to more extreme cognitive problems.

Keeping Fatigue at Bay With Hearing Aids

This is why it’s crucial to manage your hearing loss. Marked increase in cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar benefits have been seen in various other studies. Hearing aids are really helpful. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have lots of complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This kind of memory loss is commonly not permanent, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the underlying problems remain un-addressed.

So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first begin to detect those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.

And your hearing will probably get better as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will improve your general health not only your hearing.

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