Lately, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. She forgot her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Things have been slipping through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.
Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to realize it. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.
How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you arrange that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing tested. A standard hearing evaluating will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noticed any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in noisy rooms fairly well enough. And she’s never had a tough time hearing any of her team members at work.
But just because her symptoms aren’t recognizable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Actually, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is memory loss. And strain on the brain is the root cause. It works like this:
- Slowly and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however slight.
- The sounds that you can hear, need to be amplified and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work overtime.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that kind of strain. So things like cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are several other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly murky. Still, there is an increased danger of cognitive decline with those who have neglected hearing loss, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more extreme problems.
Keeping Fatigue at Bay With Hearing Aids
This is why it’s crucial to manage your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of people with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.
Similar benefits have been noted in various other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your overall cognitive function gets better. 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 sort of memory loss is typically temporary, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain un-addressed.
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 specialist. Your memory will likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing problems are addressed.
And your hearing will most likely get better as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. In this way, your total wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.