Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she needs to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and drained all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. Frequently, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the actual problem. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to substantially improve your memory.
How to Improve Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, having a hearing exam is the first step to improve your memory so you will remember that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name at the next meeting. A hearing assessment will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may 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 when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But she might have some amount of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. As a matter of fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. It works like this:
- Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however slight.
- The sounds that you can hear, have to be amplified and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
- You can’t detect any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work overtime.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that sort of strain. So things like memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.
Hearing Loss And Dementia
If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up looking at something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, remains rather uncertain. Still, there is an elevated risk of cognitive decline in those who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more serious cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue
This is why it’s important to manage your hearing loss. Significant improvement 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.
Various other research has revealed similar benefits. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have lots of complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This kind of memory loss is typically temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in how your brain operates. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain un-addressed.
Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are dealt with.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by using hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your overall health not just your hearing.