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

Chris has been a bit forgetful lately. She missed her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (now she has to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Lately, she’s been letting things fall through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Often, though, the trouble isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. The real concern is your hearing. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you significantly improve your memory.

How to Improve Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

So, having a hearing test is the first measure to improve your memory so you will remember that eye exam and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will alert you to how bad your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And she’s never had a tough time listening to any of her team members at work.

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

  • Gradually and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
  • However slight, your ears start to notice a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain starts working a little harder to decipher and boost the sounds you are able to hear.
  • Everything feels normal, but it takes more work from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be stressed by that kind of burden. So things such as cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you may end up looking at something like dementia. And there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, though there are numerous other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship continues to be fairly murky. Still, people who have untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for having cognitive decline, beginning with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more extreme cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue

This is why it’s necessary to manage your hearing loss. Noticeable increase of 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 results have been noted in several other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complex mixture of factors and variables.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is commonly temporary, it’s an indication of exhaustion more than a fundamental change in the way your brain operates. But that can change if the underlying problems remain neglected.

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

And your hearing will probably get better as well. A hearing aid can help stem the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your total health not just your hearing.

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