Chris has been a bit forgetful as of late. She forgot her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (now she needs to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been falling through the cracks. Curiously, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and exhausted constantly.
It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. The real issue is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by using one small device.
How to Improve Your Memory And General Cognitive Function
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 plan that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing checked. A standard hearing evaluating will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment may be.
Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a crowded room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But she may have some amount of hearing loss even though she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is commonly one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. Here’s how it works:
- Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
- Your brain begins working a little bit harder to interpret and boost the sounds you are able to hear.
- Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to make sense of the sounds.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that kind of strain. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.
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 connection between hearing loss and dementia, though there are numerous other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still fairly uncertain. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline in those who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) develop into more extreme problems.
Keeping Fatigue Under Control Using Hearing Aids
That’s the reason why dealing with your hearing loss is indispensable. Marked improvement of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.
Similar benefits have been seen in a variety of other studies. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and issues with cognitive function can have numerous intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss
This type of memory loss is mostly because of mental exhaustion and is usually temporary. But if the root problems are not dealt with, that could change.
Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you detect these symptoms. Your memory will likely go back to normal when your fundamental hearing concerns are dealt with.
And your hearing will most likely get better as well. A hearing aid can help stem the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your overall health not only your hearing.