Why Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Memory

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

As of late, Chris has been a little bit forgetful. For two months in a row, she missed her doctor’s appointment and has to reschedule. And she even overlooked running the dishwasher before bedtime (looks like she’ll be handwashing her coffee cup today). Lately she’s been allowing things slip through the cracks. Oddly, Chris doesn’t actually feel forgetful…she simply feels mentally depleted and exhausted constantly.

It can be hard to put your finger on that feeling until it’s sneaking up on you. Frequently, though, the trouble isn’t your memory, despite how forgetful you might appear. 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 Overall Cognitive Function

So, getting a hearing test is the first measure to improve your memory so you will not forget that eye exam and will remember everyone’s name at the next meeting. If you have hearing loss a hearing test will let you know how severe your impairment is.

Chris hasn’t noticed any symptoms of hearing loss yet so she hesitates to schedule an appointment. She doesn’t really have a problem hearing in a noisy room. And she’s never had a difficult time listening to any of her team members at work.

But just because her symptoms aren’t apparent doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. Actually, one of the first symptoms of hearing impairment is memory loss. And strain on the brain is the base cause. It works like this:

  • Your hearing starts to fade, perhaps so slowly you don’t realize.
  • Your ears detect a lack of sound, however mild.
  • The sounds that you can hear, have to be boosted and translated which causes your brain to work extra hard.
  • You can’t notice any real difference but in order to make sense of sound your brain has to work extra hard.

Your brain only has a limited amount of processing power which can really be dragged down by that sort of burden. So you don’t have as much mental energy for things such as, well, memory or for other cognitive processes.

Dementia And Hearing Loss

If you take loss of memory to its most obvious extremes, you could end up looking at something like dementia. And dementia and hearing loss do have a link, though what the specific cause-effect relationship is, remains somewhat uncertain. Still, individuals with neglected hearing loss, over time, are at an increased risk for experiencing cognitive decline, which can start as memory loss and ultimately (over the years) turn into more serious concerns.

Keeping Fatigue Under Control With Hearing Aids

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

A variety of other research has shown similar results. It’s definitely helpful to wear hearing aids. When your brain doesn’t need to work quite as hard, your general cognitive function improves. Memory loss and problems with cognitive function can have many complex factors and hearing aids aren’t always a magic bullet.

The First Symptom of Hearing Loss is Frequently Memory Loss

This kind of memory loss is usually not permanent, it’s an indication of exhaustion more than an underlying change in the way your brain functions. But if the root problems are not addressed, that can change.

So if you’re recognizing some loss of memory, 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. Your memory will most likely go back to normal when your underlying hearing problems are dealt with.

As an added bonus, your hearing health will 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 overall 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.