Chris has been a bit forgetful lately. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, curiously, 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 may feel, the trouble isn’t actually about memory. The real problem is your hearing. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, getting a hearing exam is the first measure to enhance your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A hearing assessment will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t detected any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t recognizable doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, memory loss is often one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. Here’s how it works:
- Your hearing begins to diminish, probably so gradually you don’t notice.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
- The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more work from your brain to comprehend the sounds.
Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be dragged down by that type of strain. 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 memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, continues to be rather unknown. Still, those with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, beginning with some moderate memory issues and increasing to more severe cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue
This is why it’s important to treat your hearing loss. Significant improvement in cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.
A variety of other studies have demonstrated similar benefits. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have lots of complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This form of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is normally not permanent. But that can change if the underlying problems remain un-addressed.
So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you detect these symptoms. Your memory will probably return to normal when your fundamental hearing concerns are addressed.
And your hearing will probably get better also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed considerably by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your total health not only your hearing.