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

Lately, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she needs to reschedule again). And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Things have been getting lost lately. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and exhausted all the time.

Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to realize it. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the issue isn’t really about memory. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to substantially improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function

So, having a hearing exam is the first measure to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name at 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 signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in noisy rooms somewhat well enough. And she’s never had a hard time hearing any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable 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 strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:

  • Gradually and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
  • However mild, your ears start to notice a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain begins working a little harder to translate and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to make sense of the sounds.

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

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take loss of memory to its most obvious extremes, you could end up looking at 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 uncertain. Still, there is an elevated danger of cognitive decline in individuals who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) turn into more extreme issues.

Keeping Fatigue at Bay Using Hearing Aids

This is why it’s worthwhile to deal with your hearing loss. According to one study, 97.3% of individuals who suffer from hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.

A variety of other research has revealed similar benefits. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your general cognitive function improves. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This type of memory loss is almost always temporary, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But if the root problems are not addressed, that can change.

So if you’re observing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you detect these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will most likely get better also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will improve your overall health not just your hearing.

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