Hearing Health Blog

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

Chris has been somewhat forgetful recently. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and depleted all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to realize it. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you might appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one small device.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you plan that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will let you know how severe your impairment is.

Chris hasn’t detected any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in crowded rooms fairly well enough. And she’s never had a tough time hearing any of her team members at work.

But she may have some degree of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. Actually, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And strain on the brain is the base cause. Here’s how it works:

  • Your hearing begins to diminish, perhaps so slowly you don’t realize.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be amplified and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

That type of continuous strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia, though there are several other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly murky. Still, individuals with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) become more serious concerns.

Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue

That’s the reason why managing your hearing loss is necessary. Noticeable increase of cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar results have been observed in a variety of other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complicated combination of causes and variables.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is typically temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But if the underlying concerns are not dealt with, that could change.

So if you’re observing some memory loss, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. You should set up an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will probably return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are dealt with.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed considerably by using hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your total health not only your hearing.

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