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

Chris has been a bit forgetful lately. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been falling through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued constantly.

It can be challenging to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But in spite of how forgetful you might feel, the issue isn’t really about memory. The real problem is your hearing. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can help you significantly improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing test is the first step to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A typical hearing evaluating will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment may be.

Chris hasn’t noticed any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

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

  • Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however slight.
  • Your brain starts working a little bit harder to decipher and boost the sounds you can hear.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

That type of continual strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So things such as memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a link between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship continues to be somewhat uncertain. Still, those with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, beginning with some moderate memory loss and increasing to more extreme cognitive issues.

Keeping Fatigue at Bay Using Hearing Aids

This is why it’s necessary to manage your hearing loss. Significant improvement of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of people 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. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This type of memory loss is mostly because of mental fatigue and is normally not permanent. But if the root issues are not addressed, that could change.

So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first notice those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your underlying hearing issues are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will likely improve, too. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. In this way, your total wellness, not just your memory, could be improved by these little devices.

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