Chris has been a little forgetful recently. She forgot her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
It can be difficult to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the problem isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the actual issue. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by using one small device.
How to Enhance Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory
So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, and getting everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you arrange that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing tested. A typical hearing evaluating will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.
Chris hasn’t recognized any signs of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have a problem hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a hard time hearing any of her team members at work.
But she might have some amount of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:
- Your hearing begins to diminish, probably so slowly you don’t realize.
- Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
- The sounds that you do hear, have to be boosted and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain needs to work overtime.
Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be stressed by that kind of burden. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.
Dementia And Hearing Loss
If you take loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you may end up dealing with something like dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a connection, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship continues to be rather uncertain. Still, individuals with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and eventually (over the years) become more severe issues.
Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue
That’s why dealing with your hearing loss is essential. Marked increase 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 results have been observed in several other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have many complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This sort of memory loss is typically not permanent, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in the way your brain functions. But if the underlying concerns are not dealt with, that could 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 detect these symptoms. Your memory will likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing concerns are dealt with.
As an added benefit, your hearing health will most likely improve, as well. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. In a sense, your general wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.