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

As of late, Chris has been a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been letting things fall through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and fatigued constantly.

It can be hard 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. The real problem is your hearing. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one small device.

How to Improve Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, to get everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you arrange that day off for your eye exam, is to have your hearing tested. A typical hearing assessment will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

Chris hasn’t detected any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a crowded room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. It works like this:

  • Slowly and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
  • However mild, your ears start to detect a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain starts working a little bit harder to decipher and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

That amount of continuous strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So things such as cognitive function and memory take a back seat.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When loss of memory is extreme, the result could be dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a connection, though there are a number of other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still somewhat uncertain. Still, there is a higher risk of cognitive decline in those who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more serious issues.

Keeping Fatigue in Check Using Hearing Aids

That’s why dealing with your hearing loss is necessary. Noticeable increase of 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.

Numerous other studies have demonstrated similar benefits. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complex mixture of factors and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This sort of memory loss is almost always not permanent, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the fundamental problems remain neglected.

Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are addressed.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely get better, as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by using hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your general health not just your hearing.

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