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

Lately, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she needs to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been falling through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to realize it. But in spite of 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 significantly improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, getting a hearing exam is the first step to enhance your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name at the next meeting. A typical hearing assessment will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t detected any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.

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

  • Slowly and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need 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 has to work extra hard.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that sort of strain. So things such as cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a connection, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship remains rather uncertain. Still, there is an elevated risk of cognitive decline with people who have untreated hearing loss, which can begin as memory loss and eventually (over the years) turn into more serious concerns.

Keeping Fatigue Under Control With Hearing Aids

This is why it’s essential to treat your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of individuals who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or improvement in their cognitive abilities.

A variety of other research has shown similar results. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have numerous complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss

This kind 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 fundamental concerns are not addressed, that could change.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should set up an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you notice these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.

And your hearing will most likely get better also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by using hearing aids. In a sense, your general wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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