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

Lately, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. She missed her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she has to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been letting things fall through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and drained all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to realize it. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by using one small device.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’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 typical hearing examination will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

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

But just because her symptoms aren’t recognizable doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. Here’s how it works:

  • Slowly and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • However mild, your ears begin to detect a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and interpreted which causes your brain to work extra hard.
  • You can’t detect any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

That amount of constant strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly murky. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, starting with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more severe cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue

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

Similar benefits have been noted in a variety of other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t have to work quite as hard, your overall cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated combination of causes and elements.

Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss

This kind of memory loss is mostly because of mental exhaustion and is normally not permanent. But that can change if the fundamental concerns remain un-addressed.

So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you detect these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should go back to normal.

And your hearing will most likely get better also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by using hearing aids. In this way, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be improved by these little devices.

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