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

As of late, Chris has been a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and exhausted all the time.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Frequently, though, the trouble isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, having a hearing exam is the first step to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A typical hearing examination will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

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 tough time listening to any of her team members at work.

But she might have some level of hearing loss even though she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. Actually, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:

  • Your hearing begins to fade, perhaps so slowly you don’t realize.
  • However mild, your ears start to detect a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
  • Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

That kind of constant strain can be really difficult on your brain’s finite resources. So things like cognitive function and memory take a back seat.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When memory loss is extreme, the result might be dementia. And there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still somewhat uncertain. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, beginning with some mild memory loss and increasing to more extreme cognitive problems.

Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue

That’s the reason why dealing with your hearing loss is essential. As stated in one study, 97.3% of those who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.

Similar benefits have been observed in various other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t need to work as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have many intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

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

Loss of memory, then, can be something of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you recognize these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should go back to normal.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will most likely improve, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by using hearing aids. In this way, your general wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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