Lately, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been falling through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually 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. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one little device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you arrange that day off for your dentist appointment, is to have your hearing tested. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will alert you to how bad your impairment is.
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 at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, memory loss is often one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:
- Your hearing begins to fade, perhaps so gradually you don’t realize.
- However slight, your ears start to detect a lack of sound input.
- The sounds that you do hear, have to be boosted and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- Everything feels normal, but it takes more work from your brain to make sense of the sounds.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that type of burden. So things like memory and cognitive function get pushed to the back.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a link between dementia and hearing loss, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, continues to be somewhat uncertain. Still, those with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, starting with some minor memory issues and escalating to more severe cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Preventing Fatigue
This is why it’s crucial to manage your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of individuals who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.
Similar benefits have been noted in a variety of other studies. Hearing aids really help. Your overall cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complicated combination of factors and variables.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This kind of memory loss is typically not permanent, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain functions. But if the root concerns are not dealt with, that can change.
Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing issues are addressed.
And your hearing will probably improve also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by using hearing aids. In a sense, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.