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 she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been getting lost lately. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be challenging to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the issue isn’t really about memory. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to considerably improve your memory.

How to Improve Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, having a hearing exam is the first step to enhance your memory so you will remember that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name at the next meeting. A standard hearing screening will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

Chris hasn’t noticed any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in noisy rooms fairly well enough. And she’s never had a difficult time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. As a matter of fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. This is how it works:

  • Your hearing starts to fade, maybe so gradually you don’t realize.
  • However slight, your ears begin to notice a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain starts working a little bit harder to decipher and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more effort on your brain’s part to comprehend the sounds.

That amount of continual strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still rather murky. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) develop into more extreme problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Prevent Fatigue

That’s the reason why dealing with your hearing loss is crucial. As stated in one study, 97.3% of those with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or improvement in their cognitive abilities.

Various other research has shown similar results. Hearing aids are really helpful. Your general cognitive function increases when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have numerous intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This type of memory loss is commonly temporary, it’s a sign of exhaustion more than an underlying change in the way your brain operates. But if the root problems are not dealt with, that can change.

Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. When you first notice those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing professional. Your memory will probably return to normal when your fundamental hearing problems are addressed.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by using hearing aids. In a sense, your general wellness, not only your memory, could be improved by these little devices.

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