Forgetfulness can be normal at any age, such as not remembering where you put your keys or forgetting where you placed a receipt. But as you get older, your memory problems can progress.
At Neurology Consultants of Arizona in Scottsdale, board-certified neurologist, Luay Shayya, MD, and our professional team understand memory loss and how its advancement can affect you. For instance, it can indicate that certain health conditions are present, such as dementia.
Normal memory loss with aging
You can have two types of normal memory loss:
This type of memory loss involves forgetting past events that might’ve happened years ago, forgetting how to perform a certain task, and forgetting simple, general knowledge.
This type of memory loss happens when you struggle with learning something new or recalling something you’ve learned recently.
As you age, you might also have trouble with fluency in conversations as you process information a little slower. Your multitasking skills can slow down, as well.
Progressive memory loss with aging
When your memory loss begins to affect your daily living, you could be developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. For example, forgetting how to get home from the grocery store is not considered a normal memory problem.
Tips for avoiding memory loss
To keep your brain stimulated, we encourage you to physicially exercise at least twice a week. Maintaining good health can keep your mind sharp and slow down memory loss.
Other ways to stay healthy include eating the DASH diet, limiting your alcohol intake, and not smoking. Getting adequate amounts of sleep and managing your stress levels can also help.
Keep your brain active with puzzles, reading books, taking quizzes, or participating in a class to keep your mind learning new things.
Symptoms of MCI
When you have MCI, your symptoms might include forgetting things like:
- Names of friends and family
- Planned events
You can also lose your focus easily and struggle with everyday tasks, such as paying bills, cooking, taking medications, and driving.
Symptoms of dementia
Dementia can affect you more severely. Signs include:
- Loss of awareness that you have memory loss
- Declined rational thinking
- Inability to problem-solve
- Needed assistance for self-care
Dementia’s decline can also cause you to lose all ability to perform any of your daily tasks.
Treating memory loss
Our treatments for memory loss are customized for you specifically. We give you a thorough evaluation to understand your cognitive ability. We then develop a plan to slow the progression of your memory loss and help normalize your life again.