Hearing Health Blog

Woman with hearing loss doing dishes because she forgot to turn the dishwasher on.

Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Things have been slipping through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to realize it. But in spite of how forgetful you may feel, the trouble isn’t really about memory. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one small device.

How to Improve 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 schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to have your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing examination will let you know how bad your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t detected any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have an issue hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a hard time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. Actually, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all involves brain strain. Here’s how it works:

  • Gradually and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and interpreted which causes your brain to work extra hard.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

That type of continuous strain can be a real drag on your brain’s finite resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a connection, though what the precise cause-effect relationship is, continues to be somewhat uncertain. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline in people who have untreated hearing loss, beginning with some minor memory issues and increasing to more serious cognitive issues.

Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue

This is why it’s important to deal with your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or increase in their cognitive functions.

A variety of other studies have shown similar results. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have many intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss

This type of memory loss is commonly temporary, it’s a sign of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But that can change if the underlying concerns remain un-addressed.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will probably improve also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed considerably by using hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your overall health not only your hearing.

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