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

Chris has been a bit forgetful lately. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before bedtime (looks like this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and depleted all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be difficult to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the issue isn’t actually about memory. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by using one small device.

How to Improve 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 arrange that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing tested. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will let you know how severe your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noticed 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 difficult time hearing any of her team members at work.

But she could have some level of hearing loss even though she hasn’t observed any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. It works like this:

  • Gradually and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however slight.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more work on your brain’s part to make sense of the sounds.

That amount of continuous strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So things such as cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And there is a link between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather uncertain. Still, individuals with neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for having cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) become more extreme problems.

Keeping Fatigue Under Control With Hearing Aids

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

Similar results have been observed in various other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your overall cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex mix of causes and variables.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This sort of memory loss is usually not permanent, it’s an indication of exhaustion more than a fundamental change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the underlying issues remain un-addressed.

Memory loss, then, can be something of an early warning system. You should set up an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will probably go back to normal when your underlying hearing issues are dealt with.

And your hearing will most likely improve as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by using hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your total health not only your hearing.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC