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

As of late, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. She missed her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately, she’s been letting things fall through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to considerably improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, having a hearing test is the first measure to improve your memory so you will remember that dentist appointment and not forget anyone’s name at the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will let you know how bad your impairment is.

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

But she could have some level of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. Actually, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is memory loss. And strain on the brain is the root cause. It works like this:

  • Gradually and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
  • Your brain starts working a little bit harder to decipher and boost the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more effort on your brain’s part to comprehend the sounds.

That amount of continual strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So things like cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you might 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 somewhat uncertain. Still, there is an increased risk of cognitive decline in individuals who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) develop into more serious issues.

Hearing Aids And Fending Off Fatigue

That’s why managing your hearing loss is crucial. Noticeable increase of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar results have been seen in several other studies. Hearing aids are really helpful. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complicated combination of factors and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is almost always temporary, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than an underlying change in how your brain operates. But if the underlying concerns are not addressed, that can change.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first detect those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your fundamental hearing issues are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will likely improve, too. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. In this way, your total wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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