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

As of late, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to significantly improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your General Cognitive Function And Memory

So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing checked. A hearing screening will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t detected any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms fairly well enough. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.

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

  • Your hearing starts to fade, perhaps so gradually you don’t notice.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, need to be boosted and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

That type of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, there is a higher risk of cognitive decline in those who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some mild memory issues and escalating to more serious cognitive issues.

Keeping Fatigue in Check Using Hearing Aids

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

Numerous other research has revealed similar benefits. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your general cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mixture of factors and variables.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This type of memory loss is mostly due to mental exhaustion and is usually not permanent. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain neglected.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. When you first begin to notice those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. Your memory will probably go back to normal when your underlying hearing issues are addressed.

And your hearing will probably get better as well. A hearing aid can help stem the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your total health not just your hearing.

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