Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

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

Chris has been a bit forgetful recently. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Strangely, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and fatigued all the time.

It can be difficult to recognize that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means you can considerably improve your memory by wearing one little device.

How to Improve Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, to get 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. If you have hearing loss a hearing exam will alert you to how bad your impairment is.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noticed any signs or symptoms of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms fairly well enough. And when she’s at work, 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 noticed any symptoms yet. As a matter of fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first detectable symptoms of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the root cause. This is how it works:

  • Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and interpreted 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 needs to work overtime.

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 like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

When loss of memory is extreme, the result might be dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, continues to be rather unknown. Still, those with neglected hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for experiencing cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and eventually (over the years) become more extreme issues.

Wearing Hearing Aids Will Help You Avoid Fatigue

That’s the reason why dealing with your hearing loss is essential. According to one study, 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.

Similar results have been noted in a variety of other studies. Hearing aids are really helpful. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your overall cognitive function gets better. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated combination of factors and variables.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This sort of memory loss is typically not permanent, it’s a sign of exhaustion more than an underlying change in how your brain functions. But that can change if the underlying concerns remain un-addressed.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. You should set up an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you recognize these symptoms. Your memory will probably return to normal when your fundamental hearing problems are dealt with.

And your hearing will most likely improve also. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by wearing hearing aids. In this way, your general wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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