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

Lately, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. She missed her doctor’s appointment for the second month in a row (now she needs to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been getting lost lately. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only when that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to realize it. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you might appear. The real concern is your hearing. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can help you substantially improve your memory.

How to Improve Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing exam is the first measure to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. A typical hearing assessment will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment may be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t detected any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And she’s never had a hard time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t obvious doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. Actually, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is memory loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. Here’s how it works:

  • Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing begins to fade.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified 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 has to work extra hard.

That type of constant strain can be a real drag on your brain’s finite resources. So things like memory and cognitive function take a back seat.

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, continues to be somewhat uncertain. Still, there is an elevated danger of cognitive decline in individuals who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some moderate memory issues and increasing to more severe cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Help You Avoid Fatigue

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

Similar benefits have been observed in various other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mix of causes and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This type of memory loss is usually temporary, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in how your brain operates. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain neglected.

Memory loss, then, can be something of an early warning system. When you first begin to notice those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should go back to normal.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely get better, too. A hearing aid can help stop the decline in your hearing. In a sense, your general wellness, not only your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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