Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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 two months in a row (now she has to reschedule again). And before she went to bed she even forgot to run the dishwasher (looks as if she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately, she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally exhausted and drained all the time but, strangely, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you start to recognize it. Often, though, the issue isn’t your memory, in spite of how forgetful you might appear. Your hearing is the actual problem. And that means you can significantly improve your memory by wearing one small device.

How to Enhance Your Overall Cognitive Function And Memory

So, the first step you can take to improve your memory, to get everyone’s name right at your next meeting or to make sure you plan that day off for your dentist appointment, is to have your hearing checked. A hearing examination will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment might be.

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

But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. In fact, one of the first signs of hearing impairment is memory loss. And strain on the brain is the underlying cause. This is how it works:

  • Your hearing starts to fade, probably so slowly you don’t notice.
  • However mild, your ears start to notice a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain begins working a little harder to translate and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more work on your brain’s part to make sense of the sounds.

That kind of continual strain can be really difficult on your brain’s limited resources. So you have less mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive functions.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

When loss of memory is extreme, the result might be dementia. And there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains rather unknown. Still, individuals with untreated hearing loss, over time, have a higher risk for experiencing cognitive decline, starting with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more severe cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Will Help You Prevent Fatigue

That’s why managing your hearing loss is crucial. As stated in one study, 97.3% of those who suffer from hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a significant stabilization or increase in their cognitive abilities.

Similar benefits have been noted in several other studies. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to struggle as hard to hear. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have lots of intricate factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

Memory Loss Can be The First Signal of Hearing Loss

This type of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is usually not permanent. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain neglected.

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. As soon as your underlying hearing issues are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

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

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