As of late, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been slipping through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and fatigued constantly.
It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means you can significantly improve your memory by using one small device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
So, getting a hearing test is the first measure to improve your memory so you will remember that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name at the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will let you know how severe your impairment is.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms fairly well enough. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is memory loss. And it all involves brain strain. It works like this:
- Slowly and almost imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however slight.
- The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and interpreted which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more work on your brain’s part to make sense of the sounds.
Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be dragged down by that sort of burden. So things such as memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather murky. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline with those who have untreated hearing loss, starting with some moderate memory loss and increasing to more extreme cognitive issues.
Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue
This is why it’s important to treat your hearing loss. Noticeable improvement in cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.
Similar results have been observed in several other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function gets better. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex mixture of factors and variables.
Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss
This type of memory loss is usually temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But if the fundamental problems are not addressed, that could change.
So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first observe those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely get better, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by using hearing aids. In a sense, your overall wellness, not only your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.