As of late, Chris has been a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Strangely, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she just feels mentally drained and fatigued constantly.
It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you may feel, the trouble isn’t actually about memory. Your hearing is the actual problem. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.
How to Enhance Your General Cognitive Function And Memory
So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your eye exam, is to have your hearing checked. A hearing assessment will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any symptoms or signs 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 just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. As a matter of fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first noticeable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the root cause. It works like this:
- Slowly and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
- However slight, your ears start to notice a lack of sound input.
- The sounds that you do 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 really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship remains fairly uncertain. Still, individuals with untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) become more severe concerns.
Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue
This is why it’s essential to deal with your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of people who suffer from hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive functions.
Similar results have been noted in several other studies. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complicated mixture of factors and elements.
Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss
This type of memory loss is mostly a function of mental exhaustion and is usually temporary. But if the fundamental concerns are not dealt with, that could change.
Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. When you first begin to notice those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are addressed, your memory should return to normal.
And your hearing will most likely get better as well. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your general health not just your hearing.