Chris has been slightly forgetful recently. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Oddly, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued constantly.
Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one little device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
So, step one to improving your memory, to get everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will let you know how severe 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 difficult time listening to any of her team members at work.
But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the underlying cause. It works like this:
- Gradually and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
- Your brain starts working a little harder to translate and boost the sounds you can hear.
- You can’t detect any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work overtime.
That amount of continual strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
When loss of memory is extreme, the result might be dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are several other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still rather murky. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, beginning with some mild memory loss and escalating to more severe cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Preventing Fatigue
This is why it’s worthwhile to treat 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 improvement in their cognitive abilities.
Similar results have been seen in several other studies. Hearing aids really help. Your overall cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have numerous intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This kind of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is normally temporary. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain un-addressed.
Loss of memory, then, can be something of an early warning system. When you first notice those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your underlying hearing issues are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely get better, as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. In this way, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.