Chris has been slightly forgetful lately. She missed her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (time to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately, she’s been letting things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.
Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Often, though, the problem isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. The real concern is your hearing. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one little device.
How to Enhance Your General Cognitive Function And Memory
So, getting a hearing test is the first step to enhance your memory so you will not forget that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name at the next meeting. A hearing assessment will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment may be.
Chris hasn’t detected any signs of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in noisy rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have a problem hearing team members.
But she may have some level of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t observed any symptoms yet. In fact, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is loss of memory. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:
- Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
- However mild, your ears begin to notice a lack of sound input.
- The sounds that you do hear, need to be amplified and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
- You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain has to work overtime.
Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that sort of strain. So you have less mental energy for things like, 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 looking at something like dementia. And there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, though what the precise cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, there is an elevated danger of cognitive decline with people who have neglected hearing loss, beginning with some mild memory issues and increasing to more serious cognitive issues.
Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue
That’s why treating your hearing loss is indispensable. As stated in one study, 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.
Numerous other research has demonstrated 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 numerous intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss
This form of memory loss is mostly due to mental exhaustion and is usually temporary. But if the underlying issues are not addressed, that could change.
Loss of memory, then, can be something of an early warning system. You should schedule an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will probably go back to normal when your underlying hearing problems are addressed.
As an added bonus, your hearing health will most likely get better, too. The decline in your hearing will be slowed dramatically by wearing hearing aids. In a sense, your total wellness, not only your memory, could be improved by these little devices.