Why Hearing Aids Can Sharpen Your Memory

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

As of late, Chris has been somewhat forgetful. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and needs to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before going to bed (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Things have been slipping through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t necessarily feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally drained and fatigued all the time.

It can be difficult to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. But despite how forgetful you might feel, the problem isn’t really about memory. The real concern is your hearing. And that means you can significantly improve your memory by wearing one little device.

How to Enhance Your Memory And General Cognitive Function

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 schedule that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing checked. A hearing evaluating will be able to figure out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment may be.

Chris hesitates, though, because she hasn’t noted any symptoms or signs of hearing loss. She can hear in crowded rooms somewhat well enough. And when she’s working, she doesn’t have an issue hearing team members.

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

  • Your hearing starts to diminish, probably so gradually you don’t notice.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and translated which makes your brain work extra hard.
  • You can’t detect 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 stressed by that sort of strain. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things like, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

If you take memory loss to its most logical extremes, you may end up looking at something like dementia. And there is a connection between dementia and hearing loss, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship is still rather uncertain. Still, people who have neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, which can begin as memory loss and eventually (over the years) develop into more severe problems.

Keeping Fatigue in Check With Hearing Aids

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

Various other research has demonstrated similar results. It’s unquestionably helpful to wear hearing aids. Your overall cognitive function improves when your brain doesn’t have to work 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 Sign of Hearing Loss

This sort of memory loss is commonly temporary, it’s an indication of mental fatigue more than a fundamental change in the way your brain operates. But that can change if the fundamental issues remain neglected.

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 fundamental hearing issues are addressed, your memory should return to normal.

And your hearing will probably get better as well. A hearing aid can help slow the decline in your hearing. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your general health not just your hearing.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.