Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. 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 slipping through the cracks. Strangely, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and exhausted constantly.
Only after 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 may appear. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one small device.
How to Enhance Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function
So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing tested. If you have hearing loss a hearing examination will alert you to how bad your impairment is.
Chris hasn’t recognized any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in noisy rooms fairly well enough. And she’s never had a tough time hearing any of her team members at work.
But she could have some amount of hearing loss even though she hasn’t detected any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And it all has to do with brain strain. It works like this:
- Gradually and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing begins to diminish.
- Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
- Your brain starts working a little harder to translate and boost the sounds you can hear.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain has to work overtime.
That type of continuous strain can be a real drag on your brain’s limited 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 loss of memory to its most logical extremes, you could 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 remains somewhat uncertain. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more serious problems.
Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue
This is why it’s important to manage your hearing loss. Marked improvement in cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.
Numerous other research has revealed similar results. Hearing aids are really helpful. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex mix of causes and elements.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss
This type of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is normally temporary. But that can change if the fundamental concerns remain neglected.
So if you’re noticing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first begin to detect those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist. Your memory will likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing issues are dealt with.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely get better, too. A hearing aid can help stem the decline in your hearing. In this way, your overall wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.