Chris has been somewhat forgetful lately. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been falling through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Frequently, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to substantially improve your memory.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you arrange that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will alert you to how severe your impairment is.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noticed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in noisy rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. As a matter of fact, memory loss is often one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the underlying cause. This is how it works:
- Your hearing starts to fade, probably so slowly you don’t notice.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
- The sounds that you do hear, have to be amplified and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more work on your brain’s part to comprehend the sounds.
That amount of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s limited resources. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you may end up looking at something like dementia. And there is a link between dementia and hearing loss, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, there is an elevated risk of cognitive decline with people who have untreated hearing loss, starting with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more extreme cognitive issues.
Keeping Fatigue in Check With Hearing Aids
This is why it’s essential to deal with your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of those with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a significant stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.
Similar benefits have been noted in a variety of other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your general cognitive function gets better. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This type of memory loss is mostly a function of mental exhaustion and is usually temporary. But that can change if the fundamental problems remain un-addressed.
Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should set up an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you detect these symptoms. Your memory will most likely go back to normal when your fundamental hearing concerns are addressed.
And your hearing will most likely get better as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by wearing hearing aids. In a sense, your total wellness, not only your memory, could be improved by these little devices.