Chris has been a little forgetful recently. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she has to reschedule again). And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been falling through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she just feels mentally drained and fatigued all the time.
Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. But in spite of how forgetful you might feel, the trouble isn’t really about memory. The real concern is your hearing. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.
How to Improve Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you plan that day off for your eye exam, is to have your hearing tested. A standard hearing examination will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment may be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have a problem hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.
But she might have some level of hearing loss even though she hasn’t detected any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And strain on the brain is the base cause. This is how it works:
- Your hearing begins to diminish, perhaps so slowly you don’t notice.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
- The sounds that you can hear, need to be boosted and interpreted which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain has to work extra hard.
That kind of constant strain can be a real drag on your brain’s finite resources. So things like memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take loss of memory to its most obvious extremes, you might end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, remains rather unknown. Still, those with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, beginning with some moderate memory loss and increasing to more extreme cognitive issues.
Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue
This is why it’s necessary to treat your hearing loss. Noticeable increase 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. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your overall cognitive function gets better. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have numerous complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This kind of memory loss is mostly a function of mental exhaustion and is usually temporary. But if the fundamental problems are not addressed, that can change.
Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. When you first begin to detect those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing professional. As soon as your underlying hearing issues are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.
And your hearing will most likely improve also. A hearing aid can help stem the decline in your hearing. In this way, your overall wellness, not only your memory, could be improved by these little devices.