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

Chris has been somewhat forgetful as of late. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bed (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things fall through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and fatigued constantly.

It can be hard to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But in spite of how forgetful you might feel, the issue isn’t actually about memory. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one little device.

How to Enhance Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing exam is the first measure to enhance your memory so you will not forget that dentist appointment and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A hearing screening will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have a problem hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But she could have some degree of hearing loss even though she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:

  • Gradually and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
  • However slight, your ears begin to notice a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain has to work extra hard.

Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be dragged down by that kind of strain. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things like, 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 connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are numerous other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still somewhat murky. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline with those who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some moderate memory loss and increasing to more severe cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Prevent Fatigue

This is why it’s essential to manage your hearing loss. Noticeable increase in cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar benefits have been observed in several other studies. Hearing aids are really helpful. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex mixture of causes and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is commonly not permanent, it’s a sign of exhaustion more than an underlying change in the way your brain operates. But that can change if the underlying concerns remain neglected.

So if you’re noticing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first observe those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing professional. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing issues are addressed.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will most likely get better, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by wearing hearing aids. In a sense, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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