Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and drained all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. But despite how forgetful you may feel, the problem isn’t really about memory. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means there’s one little device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to substantially improve your memory.
How to Enhance Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory
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 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 noticed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a hard time hearing any of her team members at work.
But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:
- Your hearing begins to diminish, perhaps so slowly you don’t realize.
- However slight, your ears begin to notice a lack of sound input.
- Your brain starts working a little bit harder to decipher and boost the sounds you can hear.
- You can’t detect any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work extra hard.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that sort of burden. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.
Hearing Loss And Dementia
When loss of memory is extreme, the result might be dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though what the precise cause-effect relationship is, continues to be somewhat unknown. Still, people who have untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) develop into more severe issues.
Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue
This is why it’s essential to deal with your hearing loss. Marked increase in cognitive function was observed 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 studies have demonstrated similar benefits. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This kind of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is normally not permanent. But if the root concerns are not dealt with, that could change.
Memory loss, then, can be something 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 fundamental hearing issues are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely get better, too. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your general health not only your hearing.