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Center For Better Hearing - Glens Falls, NY

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

Chris has been slightly forgetful as of late. She missed her doctor’s appointment two months in a row (time to reschedule again). And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (I guess this morning she will need to handwash her coffee cup). Lately, she’s been letting things fall through the cracks. Chris has been feeling mentally fatigued and depleted all the time but, curiously, she doesn’t feel forgetful.

It can be challenging 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 might appear. Your hearing is the real issue. And that means you can substantially improve your memory by wearing one small device.

How to Improve Your Memory And Overall Cognitive Function

So, getting a hearing test is the first step to enhance your memory so you will remember that dentist appointment and will remember everyone’s name in the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing examination will let you know how bad your impairment is.

Chris hasn’t recognized any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to make an appointment. She can hear in noisy 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 even though she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. In fact, memory loss is often one of the very first noticeable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all has to do with brain strain. This is how it works:

  • Your hearing begins to fade, maybe so slowly you don’t notice.
  • However slight, your ears begin to notice a lack of sound input.
  • Your brain starts working a little harder to translate and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything feels normal, but it takes more effort from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that kind of burden. So things like cognitive function and memory take a back seat.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you may end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the actual cause-effect relationship is, continues to be rather uncertain. Still, there is a higher danger of cognitive decline with people who have untreated hearing loss, starting with some mild memory loss and escalating to more extreme cognitive problems.

Wearing Hearing Aids Will Help You Prevent Fatigue

This is why it’s necessary to deal with your hearing loss. As stated in one study, 97.3% of those with hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or improvement in their cognitive functions.

Similar results have been noted in several other studies. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. 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 Sign of Hearing Loss

This type of memory loss is mostly due to mental fatigue and is usually temporary. But if the underlying problems are not dealt with, that can change.

Loss of memory, then, can be somewhat of an early warning system. You should make an appointment with your hearing professional as soon as you detect these symptoms. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will most likely improve as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed considerably by using hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your total health not just your hearing.

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