Let's Talk About Memory Loss

January 03, 2022
Let's Talk About Memory Loss

Memory loss is a common health condition that can severely impact a person's quality of life. As people age, there are numerous bodily changes that happen that can lead to mental decline. You tend to take longer to retrieve information or have difficulty retaining new information. You may even struggle to pick up a new skill. In addition to aging, there are several other short-term memory loss causes that contribute to a person's mental decline. Knowing these contributing factors allows you to make the necessary lifestyle shifts to protect your brain and prevent the onset of memory loss.

Differentiating Between Different Degrees

Normal memory lapses as a result of aging do not prevent you from enjoying a productive, safe, and happy life. For example, you might occasionally forget where you left your car keys or your friend's street address. These moments of forgetfulness don't necessarily mean you have a weakening form of memory loss, also known as dementia. These shifts in mental connections are generally manageable and are not a cause for concern.

Dementia, on the other hand, is the medical umbrella term that refers to a condition characterized by a specific set of symptoms. These can include forgetting common words during a conversation, asking the same questions repeatedly, or behavioral or mood swings without any apparent cause. These can also include misplacing items in weird places, i.e., finding your wallet in the freezer. Older people suffering from dementia may also find it difficult to safely perform basic daily tasks, such as cooking, driving, and cleaning.

Common Contributing Factors

Short-term and long-term memory loss share similar contributing factors. Fortunately, the majority of dementia-like conditions can be treated by eliminating or reducing the contributing factors. Here are some common causes of memory loss:

  • Medication: While prescription medication is engineered to help treat certain conditions or relieve symptoms, certain medications, like benzodiazepine and ciclosporin, can also cause short-term memory loss when taken inappropriately.
  • Head trauma: Injuries sustained to the head can cause memory loss, which either improves or plateaus after treatment. Repeated and prolonged force to the head, such as from boxing or other contact sports, can lead to progressive memory loss and other mental problems.
  • Thyroid gland problems: If your thyroid hormone levels are off, either too low or too high, your cells are unable to properly expend energy. This leads to short-term memory loss that can be reversed through professional medical treatment.

Preventing Memory Loss for Improved Quality of Life

Memory loss is a natural phenomenon that every person goes through as they age. There are many ways you can prevent or, at the very least, delay the onset of memory loss symptoms. One big factor is lifestyle, which encompasses your dietary, sleep, and exercise choices. Getting sufficient sleep and taking vitamin B12 supplements can make a powerful difference. Performing aerobic exercises and avoiding alcohol are also simple yet powerful ways to strengthen your cognitive functions and minimize the effects of mental aging. 

Working with a team of qualified rehabilitation therapists can also help prevent further memory loss and help you improve your memory. Contact Therapy Achievements today to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one suffering from dementia through a structured memory loss treatment program!