Memory loss can be a negligible issue when you’re young. However, forgetfulness can be a real concern when the years start to catch up on you, as they can be signs of bigger cognitive problems.
We’ve all had those moments: losing track of the day, forgetting what you’re about to do, blanking on a person’s name, missing out on an appointment, or misplacing your things. This can be normal lapses, but when age comes catching up on you, these memory issues can become a real concern.
Memory Loss as Part of Aging
Memory loss is a natural and normal part of aging. As we age, it takes longer for us to learn new things or retain information. However, memory loss can be a big cause for concern if it occurs very often and hampers an individual’s ability to function and perform even simple daily tasks.
What are the Causes of Memory Loss
There are many causes of memory loss. Let’s take a look at some of the most common:
- vitamin B12 deficiency
- side effects of certain medication
- brain tumors, clots, or infections
- history of chronic alcoholism
- thyroid, kidney, or liver problems
- strong emotions
Memory Loss and Aging
For those who are elderly, memory loss is one of the red flags of dementia. Dementia is the deterioration of a person’s cognitive, memory, learning, and reasoning skills. This can be to the extent that they cease to function normally.
Symptoms of dementia includes the following:
- inability to remember things from the short-term or long-term past
- repeating the same things over and over
- becoming lost in what is supposed to be familiar places
- losing track of time, date, places, events or people
- getting confused all the time
- inability to follow instructions and directions
- inability to keep track of their own hygiene, safety, privacy and nutrition
Usually, memory loss or forgetfulness, as well as confusion, can fade, but if it lasts for a long time or continues to get worse, you may consider seeking medical and professional advice.
If you or someone you know is suffering from serious memory loss, consider talking to a doctor. This is especially true for those whom you suspect may be developing dementia. Early detection can go a long way so that adequate treatment is applied to prevent it from developing at a faster rate.