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 a little forgetful. For the second month in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And before she went to bed she even overlooked running the dishwasher (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup this morning). Things have been getting lost lately. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and fatigued all the time.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. Frequently, though, the issue isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you may appear. The real problem is your hearing. And that means there’s one small device, a hearing aid, that can assist you to substantially improve your memory.

How to Improve Your Memory And Overall 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 plan that day off for your dentist appointment, is to get your hearing tested. A standard hearing evaluating will be able to find out if you have hearing loss and how bad any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t recognized any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to schedule an appointment. She can hear in noisy rooms fairly well enough. And she’s never had a tough time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. As a matter of fact, memory loss is often one of the very first detectable signs of hearing loss. And strain on the brain is the root cause. It works like this:

  • Your hearing starts to fade, probably so slowly you don’t notice.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
  • Your brain begins working a little bit harder to interpret and amplify the sounds you can hear.
  • Everything seems normal, but it takes more work from your brain to comprehend the sounds.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be stressed by that type of burden. So things such as cognitive function and memory take a back seat.

Hearing Loss And Dementia

When memory loss is extreme, the result could be dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a connection, though there are a number of other factors at work and the cause and effect relationship remains rather uncertain. Still, individuals with untreated hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, starting with some moderate memory issues and escalating to more extreme cognitive issues.

Wearing Hearing Aids Will Help You Prevent Fatigue

That’s why managing your hearing loss is crucial. Marked increase in cognitive function was observed in 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for at least 18 months according to one study.

Similar results have been seen in various other studies. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your total cognitive function improves. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t an absolute cure, memory problems and cognitive decline can be a complicated mix of causes and variables.

Memory Loss Can be The First Sign of Hearing Loss

This kind of memory loss is almost always not permanent, 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 problems remain neglected.

So if you’re observing some loss of memory, it can be an early warning of hearing loss. When you first begin to detect those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional. As soon as your underlying hearing issues are addressed, your memory should go back to normal.

As an added benefit, your hearing health 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 general health not just your hearing.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.