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Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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

Chris has been somewhat forgetful recently. 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 overlooked running the dishwasher (I guess this morning she will have to handwash her coffee cup). Things have been getting lost lately. Curiously, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she just feels mentally depleted and exhausted all the time.

Only after that feeling is sneaking up on you, will you begin to recognize it. But in spite of how forgetful you may feel, the issue isn’t actually about memory. Your hearing is the real problem. And that means there’s one tiny device, a hearing aid, that can help you considerably improve your memory.

How to Improve Your General Cognitive Function And Memory

So, having a hearing test is the first step to improve your memory so you will not forget that dentist appointment and not forget anyone’s name in the next meeting. A hearing screening will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and how severe any impairment might be.

Chris hasn’t detected 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 tough time hearing any of her team members at work.

But she may have some degree of hearing loss despite the fact that she hasn’t recognized any symptoms yet. As a matter of fact, memory loss is frequently one of the very first detectable symptoms of hearing loss. And it all involves brain strain. This is how it works:

  • Slowly and nearly imperceptibly, your hearing starts to fade.
  • Your ears notice a lack of sound, however slight.
  • Your brain begins working a little harder to translate and boost the sounds you are able to hear.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to comprehend sound your brain needs to work overtime.

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

Dementia And Hearing Loss

When loss of memory is extreme, the result could be dementia. And there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia, though there are numerous other factors involved and the cause and effect relationship is still rather uncertain. Still, there is an elevated risk of cognitive decline in those who have untreated hearing loss, which can start as memory loss and eventually (over the years) develop into more extreme issues.

Keeping Fatigue Under Control Using Hearing Aids

This is why it’s important to deal with your hearing loss. According to one study, 97.3% of people who suffer from hearing loss who used hearing aids for at least 18 months showed a marked stabilization or increase in their cognitive functions.

A variety of other research has demonstrated similar results. Hearing aids really help. When your brain doesn’t have to strain quite as hard, your general cognitive function gets better. Sure, a hearing aid isn’t a memory panacea, cognitive decline or memory problems can be a complex mix of causes and elements.

The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This form of memory loss is mostly a function of mental fatigue and is usually not permanent. But that can change if the fundamental concerns remain un-addressed.

So if you’re recognizing some memory loss, it can be an early sign of hearing loss. When you first notice those symptoms, you should make an appointment with your hearing specialist. As soon as your underlying hearing problems are dealt with, your memory should go back to normal.

And your hearing will probably improve as well. The decline in your hearing will be slowed substantially by wearing hearing aids. These little devices, in a sense, will improve your total health not only your hearing.

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