When to Be Concerned About Memory Loss

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As we age, forgetfulness may become increasingly frequent; it’s important to visit your health care provider if memory problems affect daily activities and interfere with daily living. They will ask questions and perform a physical exam.

He or she may also inquire about your medications and dietary supplement use, before performing blood and urine tests as well as brain imaging studies.

1. Sudden Memory Loss

As we age, forgetting names or misplacing keys may become more frequent or interfere with daily living activities; in such instances, consulting your physician is worth doing.

Your doctor may take some time to diagnose what’s causing your memory problems, as symptoms are sometimes difficult to isolate when multiple parts of the brain are involved. But with effective treatments available, feeling better should become possible again.

Sudden memory loss could be the result of many things, from cancer and stroke to thyroid problems or medications causing myxedema coma; even taking multiple prescription or over-the-counter medicines at once could contribute to sudden memory loss; consult your physician on what steps they recommend taking if this happens to you.

2. Forgetting Things

Though it’s normal to forget words or lose keys from time to time, if memory slips become regular or changes appear in thinking or behavior, this should be cause for alarm and you may wish to consult your physician as soon as possible.

Your doctor will inquire into any symptoms you are experiencing and may conduct blood or brain imaging to identify possible reversible causes for memory loss or dementia-like symptoms. Your physician may refer you to a specialist in dementia or memory disorders like a neurologist or psychiatrist for further treatment and guidance.

If your memory is suffering, lifestyle modifications can help. Eating healthily, getting enough restful sleep and remaining physically active are all proven strategies for strengthening it. Staying socially engaged also plays a part in combatting depression and stress – two conditions known to negatively impact it.

3. Misplacing Things

Everybody loses things now and then; as people age, this becomes more frequent. But it is essential to recognize when this may be a telltale sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

An individual with dementia might misplace their keys and then be unable to retrace their steps backwards to find them; they might also accuse others of stealing items.

At times, this can be rectified with just a few simple strategies, like sticking to a schedule and placing items back where they belong. Also useful can be using visual reminder systems like an electronic calendar or daily planner as visual cues for each task or appointment that needs doing to help reinforce memory and avoid being misplaced later. Verbalization exercises also can help, such as repeating locations like a kitchen counter as you place items there.

4. Losing Track of Time

If memory lapses are interfering with daily life and have you confused, it may be worth visiting a physician for assessment and possible treatment options. A vitamin B-12 deficiency or hypothyroidism could be at play here, while Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia might need medication treatment as well.

Your doctor will ask questions regarding how long the issue has been occurring and its effects. In addition, they’ll perform a physical exam as well as lab and imaging tests depending on its cause.

Caregiving someone with memory problems can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, but remember it’s also essential for you to take care of yourself and have a support network in place. Caring for someone living with dementia is both emotionally and physically draining; speaking to a professional therapist might help you work through feelings privately.

5. Feeling Sad or Depressed

As people age, memory loss may become more frequent and noticeable. If this memory loss leaves you or someone you care for feeling saddened or distressed due to changes in thinking or memory processes, it is crucial that they consult their physician.

Depression, stress or anxiety can contribute to difficulty with concentration and focus, which in turn contribute to memory issues. Depression may especially impact older adults who are experiencing major losses or changes (for example: receiving a serious medical diagnosis; grieving the loss of loved one(s); retiring etc).

Your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms and family history before conducting a physical examination and ordering blood or brain imaging tests to see what’s causing them. They might refer you to a neurologist, psychiatrist or neuropsychologist if they feel more in-depth care is necessary; additionally they may suggest maintaining a healthy diet and taking medications in order to alleviate your symptoms.

6. Misplacing Memories

Many of us forget things from time to time; memory lapses are normal. However, if you find yourself misplacing glasses or keys more frequently than usual it could be an indicator of something more serious going on in your life.

Memory loss, also known as confabulation, occurs when your mind attempts to fill any gaps with information it thinks you should recall. While this phenomenon can happen to anyone, Alzheimer’s patients and others living with dementias tend to exhibit this symptom more frequently than anyone else.

Talk with your healthcare provider if your memory changes. A neurologist can perform tests and assessments to assess your symptoms and discover their source; they may even refer you to a psychologist for additional support and help. Exercise regularly, eating healthily, not smoking and managing medications effectively are proven ways of maintaining memory; so too is keeping environments as familiar as possible while limiting consumption of alcohol, caffeine or drugs which might interfere with it.

7. Forgetting People’s Names

Reminding someone their name may be awkward at times. But if this behavior persists or causes distress for the other party involved, consulting your physician could be worthwhile.

Medication such as tranquilizers, antidepressants and blood pressure pills may negatively impact memory by inducing drowsiness or confusion. If this is an issue for you, consult with a pharmacist or doctor immediately –

When meeting new people for the first time, try writing down or asking them to spell their name. Additionally, try associating their name with something visual like Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham book or something they told you about themselves – this will help your memory more readily than hearing alone if you’re easily distracted! This method may also aid if someone mentions Dr. Seuss or Green eggs and ham makes an appearance! Seeing is more primal than hearing so creating images may help make remembering things easier – this strategy especially useful if words seem unimportant or forgetful when hearing is being spoken aloud!

8. Misplacing Dates or Times

Reminiscent of moments past, occasional forgetfulness can be alarming; but if it occurs regularly and interferes with daily life, it could indicate early memory disorders. Furthermore, be wary if either yourself or loved ones seem suspicious, fearful, or anxious regarding their memories – these could all be telltale signs.

People living with dementia may become confused in familiar environments and forget what happened recently or which day it is. Some even exhibit symptoms of confabulation – an indicator that should prompt you to visit your physician immediately.

9. Forgetting to Do Things

At times we all forget words or lose keys; most often these moments of forgetfulness don’t represent any cause for alarm. However, when these episodes of forgetfulness start interfering with daily activities it could be an early indicator of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – something to be taken seriously by all concerned.

Memory lapses may also be brought on by medications such as over-the-counter sleep aids, antidepressants and urinary treatment remedies such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or oxybutynin (Ditropan XL). Discussing your symptoms with your physician will help them diagnose what’s causing them.

A doctor will take an in-depth health history, perform a physical exam and may order blood and urine tests to assess your overall wellness. They may ask about mood, stress levels and any noticeable changes in thinking or behavior as well as medications you are currently taking (over-the-counter supplements or prescription).