When you open the refrigerator and don’t remember what you are searching for or forget what you were about to say mid-sentence, you might feel scared and wonder if you’re dealing with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Fortunately, your senior moments may be just that, typical senior moments. But what causes you to forget things? Below are common reasons you can’t remember aside from the possibility of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
1. You’ve just started new medication
Plenty of medications such as antihistamines, painkillers, and those used for controlling urination or bowel function could cause issues with your memory and confusion but don’t necessarily lead to dementia.
This means that if you started having senior moments right after you began taking a new drug or if you find that you have less senior moments when off the drug, then your symptoms are highly likely a side effect of the new drug, notes a memory care specialist from Ogden.
Speak with your doctor regarding potential side effects of the new drug you’re taking in order that you’ll know when to be really concerned and when not to.
2. You are sleep-deprived
A common reason for temporary memory issues, impaired focus, or confusion is sleep deprivation. Studies have indicated that not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to similar effects on your brain as those related to natural memory loss due to aging, resulting in fleeting or short-term memory loss, not dementia or Alzheimer’s. Basically, sleep deprivation can make you remember or process fewer things than normal.
3. Your stress level is higher than normal
Feeling anxious, overworked, or stressed can easily ta your mental, emotional, and physical health. Working long hours or taking on the responsibilities and worries of daily life can result in occasional memory problems. Generally speaking, this is most probably a warning sign that you’re doing too much and that you need to slow down and relax your mind and body.
If you are always making lists or plans in your head or fussing over many different things at once, you won’t be able to concentrate at the moment, so even if someone’s telling you something or when you’re reading something, you might not be able to absorb anything.
4. Senior moments don’t affect your daily life
It’s perfectly normal to forget the name of the band you watched with your spouse 18 years ago. However, a healthy brain retains simple sequences, meaning that it’s a great sign if you’re still able to dress and bathe yourself, cook, work, drive, and indulge in your hobbies.
Memory loss only becomes an issue when it starts to affect your ability to go through your daily routine without getting help. If this is the case, then you need to talk to your doctor.
A majority of seniors worry that their senior moments indicate the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or similar diseases. However, as you can see from above, minor or fleeting memory loss could be a result of different factors that are not even related to these diseases. But if you’re worried that your memory lapses might be something more serious, don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with your doctor.