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

Chris has been somewhat forgetful as of late. She forgot her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.

It can be hard to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the problem isn’t really about memory. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by wearing one small device.

How to Improve Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing exam is the first measure to improve your memory so you will remember that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A standard hearing assessment will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in noisy rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But she might have some amount of hearing loss even though she hasn’t detected any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all involves brain strain. Here’s how it works:

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

Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be stressed by that kind of burden. So things such as memory and cognitive function take a back seat.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you might end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are numerous other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly murky. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) become more severe problems.

Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue

That’s the reason why managing your hearing loss is essential. According to one study, 97.3% of those who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.

Similar results have been noted in several other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your total 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.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This form of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is usually not permanent. But if the root concerns are not addressed, that could change.

So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you recognize these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing issues are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will probably improve as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your overall health not only your hearing.

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