HEARING TIPS

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

Lately, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.

It can be challenging to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.

How to Improve Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everyone’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 checked. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will alert you to how bad your impairment is.

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

But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable symptoms of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:

  • Slowly and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
  • However slight, your ears start to notice 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 notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work extra hard.

That amount of continuous strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited resources. So things like cognitive function and memory get pushed to the back.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When memory loss is extreme, the result might be dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather murky. Still, there is a higher risk of cognitive decline with people who have neglected hearing loss, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) develop into more extreme problems.

Hearing Aids And Preventing Fatigue

That’s why dealing with your hearing loss is indispensable. As stated in one study, 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a significant stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.

Similar benefits have been seen in several other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your general cognitive function improves. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have numerous complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This form of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is normally temporary. But if the root issues are not dealt with, that could change.

Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. When you first notice those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. Your memory will likely go back to normal when your underlying hearing issues are addressed.

As an added benefit, your hearing health will likely get better, as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by wearing hearing aids. In this way, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be improved by these little devices.

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