Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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

Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. 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 like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been getting lost lately. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the problem isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.

How to Enhance Your General Cognitive Function And Memory

So, getting a hearing exam is the first step to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A standard hearing assessment will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t detected any signs of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She doesn’t really have difficulty hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a hard time listening to any of her team members at work.

But she may have some degree of hearing loss even though she hasn’t observed any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is often one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. This is how it works:

  • Gradually and almost imperceptibly, your hearing starts to diminish.
  • However mild, your ears start to detect a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain begins working a little harder to interpret and amplify the sounds you are able to hear.
  • Everything seems to be normal, but it takes more work from your brain to make sense of the sounds.

Your brain only has so much processing power which can really be dragged down by that type of strain. So things like memory and cognitive function take a back seat.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most obvious extremes, you might end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, continues to be rather unknown. Still, those with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for going through cognitive decline, beginning with some minor memory loss and increasing to more extreme cognitive issues.

Hearing Aids And Warding Off Fatigue

That’s why treating your hearing loss is necessary. Marked increase of cognitive function was noted in 97.3% of individuals with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Numerous other studies have revealed similar results. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t need to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complex mixture of causes and elements.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This form of memory loss is mostly because of mental exhaustion and is normally temporary. But if the root concerns are not dealt with, that could change.

So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. You should make an appointment with your hearing specialist as soon as you detect these symptoms. Your memory will most likely return to normal when your fundamental hearing problems are addressed.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will likely improve, as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed significantly by using hearing aids. In this way, your general wellness, not just your memory, could be enhanced by these little devices.

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