Chris has been slightly forgetful lately. She forgot her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately, she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Strangely, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued constantly.
It can be hard to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the trouble isn’t actually about memory. The real concern is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one little device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall 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 get your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will alert you to how severe your impairment is.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t observed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But she might have some amount of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. As a matter of fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. Here’s how it works:
- Your hearing starts to diminish, 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, need to be amplified and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
- Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more effort on your brain’s part to make sense of the sounds.
That kind of continuous strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So things such as cognitive function and memory take a back seat.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you could end up looking at something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though there are numerous other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly uncertain. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, starting with some mild memory loss and increasing to more serious cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Preventing Fatigue
This is why it’s worthwhile to manage your hearing loss. Significant 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.
A variety of other research has revealed similar results. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated combination of factors and variables.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This type of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is usually not permanent. But if the fundamental problems are not dealt with, that could change.
So if you’re observing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first begin to notice those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are addressed.
And your hearing will probably improve as well. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will improve your general health not only your hearing.