Chris has been a little forgetful lately. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even forgot to run the dishwasher before going to bed (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately she’s been allowing 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 begin to recognize it. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can significantly improve your memory by using one little device.
How to Improve Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory
So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you plan that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing tested. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will let you know how bad your impairment is.
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 hard time listening to any of her team members at work.
But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all has to do with brain strain. It works like this:
- Slowly and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
- However mild, your ears begin to detect a lack of sound input.
- The sounds that you do hear, have to be amplified and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
- You can’t detect any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work overtime.
That amount of continual strain can be a real drag on your brain’s finite 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 obvious extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a link, though there are numerous other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly uncertain. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for going through cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) develop into more severe issues.
Keeping Fatigue in Check With Hearing Aids
That’s why dealing with your hearing loss is essential. According to one study, 97.3% of individuals who suffer from hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a noticeable stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.
A variety of other studies have demonstrated similar benefits. Hearing aids really help. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mixture of factors and elements.
Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss
This kind of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is usually not permanent. But if the fundamental issues are not dealt with, that can change.
So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first observe those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing specialist. Your memory will probably go back to normal when your underlying hearing problems are addressed.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely get better, as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by using hearing aids. In a sense, your general wellness, not only your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.