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

Chris has been slightly forgetful as of late. 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 (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally drained and fatigued all the time.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to realize it. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. The real problem is your hearing. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.

How to Improve Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everybody’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 checked. A hearing examination will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment might be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noticed any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.

But she could have some degree of hearing loss even though she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. Actually, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is memory loss. And it all involves brain strain. It works like this:

  • Slowly and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, need to be boosted and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to make sense of the sounds.

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

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a connection, though there are several other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather uncertain. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for going through cognitive decline, beginning with some mild memory loss and escalating to more extreme cognitive issues.

Wearing Hearing Aids Will Help You Avoid Fatigue

This is why it’s important to treat your hearing loss. According to one study, 97.3% of people who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a significant stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.

Similar results have been observed in several other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function increases 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 kind of memory loss is typically not permanent, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the fundamental concerns remain neglected.

So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. You should set up an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will most likely go back to normal when your underlying hearing problems are dealt with.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will most likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed considerably by using hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your total health not only your hearing.

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