Chris has been a bit forgetful lately. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and exhausted all the time.
Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to significantly improve your memory.
How to Improve Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory
So, having a hearing exam is the first measure to improve your memory so you will not forget that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will alert you to how severe your impairment is.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t observed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have an issue hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t recognizable doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is memory loss. And strain on the brain is the underlying cause. It works like this:
- Slowly and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
- Your brain begins working a little bit harder to interpret and boost the sounds you can hear.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort on your brain’s part to make sense of the sounds.
That amount of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
When memory loss is extreme, the result might be dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a connection, though what the precise cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, people who have untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for having cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more severe concerns.
Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue
This is why it’s essential to deal with your hearing loss. Significant 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.
Various other studies have revealed similar results. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function gets better. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many intricate 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 typically temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in the way your brain operates. But if the underlying issues are not addressed, that could change.
Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should set up an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. Your memory will likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are addressed.
And your hearing will probably improve also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by wearing hearing aids. In a sense, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.