Hearing Assessment Center, LLC - Lutherville, Bel Air, and  Nottingham, MD

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

Chris has been a bit forgetful recently. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been slipping through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. The real problem is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one small device.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

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 schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing checked. A typical hearing assessment will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

Chris hasn’t detected any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.

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

  • Gradually and virtually imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be boosted and interpreted which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • You can’t detect any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work overtime.

That amount of constant strain can be a real drag on your brain’s finite resources. So you have less mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When loss of memory is extreme, the result might be dementia. And hearing loss and dementia do have a connection, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains rather uncertain. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for having cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) become more severe problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue

This is why it’s necessary to manage your hearing loss. According to one study, 97.3% of those who suffer from hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or increase in their cognitive functions.

Numerous other research has shown similar benefits. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have lots of intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is mostly because of mental exhaustion and is normally temporary. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain neglected.

So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you detect these symptoms. As soon as your fundamental hearing issues are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely improve, as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your overall health not only your hearing.

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