HEARING TIPS

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

Lately, Chris has been a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she forgot her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Lately she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

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

How to Enhance Your All-around Cognitive Function And Memory

So, step one to improving your memory, and getting everybody’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you schedule that day off for your eye exam, is to get your hearing checked. A standard hearing assessment will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment might be.

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

But she might have some level of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t noticed any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is often one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. It works like this:

  • Your hearing begins to fade, perhaps so gradually you don’t notice.
  • However mild, your ears begin to detect a lack of sound input.
  • The sounds that you do hear, have to be boosted 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 overtime.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that type of burden. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you could end up dealing with something like dementia. And there is a link between dementia and hearing loss, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat unknown. Still, there is an elevated risk of cognitive decline with individuals who have neglected hearing loss, which can begin as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more severe issues.

Keeping Fatigue in Check With Hearing Aids

This is why it’s essential to manage your hearing loss. Significant 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.

A variety of other studies have revealed similar benefits. Hearing aids really help. Your general cognitive function gets better when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mix of causes and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Often Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is usually not permanent, it’s an indication of exhaustion more than a fundamental change in the way your brain operates. But if the root concerns are not addressed, that could change.

Memory loss, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. When you first observe those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.

And your hearing will most likely get better as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in this way, will enhance your total health not only your hearing.

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