Chris has been a little forgetful recently. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
It can be hard to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you might appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by using one little device.
How to Improve Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
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 have your hearing tested. A standard hearing evaluating will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t observed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have a problem hearing in a crowded room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. As a matter of fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:
- Gradually and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
- Your brain starts working a little harder to decipher and boost the sounds you can hear.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work extra hard.
That kind of continual strain can be really difficult 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
If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you could end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, continues to be somewhat uncertain. Still, there is a higher risk of cognitive decline in people who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some minor memory issues and escalating to more serious cognitive problems.
Hearing Aids And Preventing Fatigue
This is why it’s essential to deal with your hearing loss. Significant increase in cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.
Similar benefits have been seen in several other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex combination of causes and variables.
The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This form of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is usually temporary. But if the root issues are not dealt with, that could change.
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 detect these symptoms. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your underlying hearing issues are dealt with.
And your hearing will most likely get better as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your overall health not only your hearing.