Lately, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. For two months in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before bedtime (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things fall through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally drained and fatigued all the time.
It can be difficult to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. The real concern is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by using one little device.
How to Enhance Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory
So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, to get everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to have your hearing checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing examination will let you know how bad your impairment is.
Chris hasn’t detected any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s at work, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But she might have some degree of hearing loss even though she hasn’t detected any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:
- Slowly and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
- The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to make sense of the sounds.
Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be stressed by that type of burden. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you could end up looking at something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though there are several other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still somewhat uncertain. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for going through cognitive decline, beginning with some minor memory loss and increasing to more severe cognitive issues.
Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Prevent Fatigue
That’s the reason why treating your hearing loss is essential. Marked improvement in cognitive function was observed 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 noted in several other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function gets better. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have lots of complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This form of memory loss is mostly because of mental fatigue and is normally temporary. But if the fundamental issues are not dealt with, that can change.
So if you’re noticing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should set up an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely improve, as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will enhance your general health not only your hearing.