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

Chris has been a bit forgetful as of late. She missed her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (looks like this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been getting lost lately. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be difficult to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the trouble isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. The real problem is your hearing. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to considerably improve your memory.

How to Improve Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, to get everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to have your hearing checked. A standard hearing examination will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t recognized any signs of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in crowded rooms fairly well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But she might have some degree of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:

  • Slowly and almost imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
  • Your brain begins working a little harder to decipher and boost the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to make sense of the sounds.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that type of strain. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you could end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, individuals with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, beginning with some moderate memory loss and escalating to more severe cognitive issues.

Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue

This is why it’s important to manage your hearing loss. Noticeable increase of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar benefits have been noted in a variety of other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your overall cognitive function gets better. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have lots of complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is almost always not permanent, it’s a sign of exhaustion more than an underlying change in the way your brain functions. But that can change if the underlying problems remain un-addressed.

Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will most likely get better as well. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. In a sense, your overall wellness, not only your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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