Foggy & Forgetful: 7 Things That Can Cause Memory Problems
Memory loss and forgetfulness are normal as we age. Just because you can’t remember where you put your keys or the name of the person you just met doesn’t mean you’re in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Below, we explore some of the more common reasons you might be experiencing memory problems.
- The “Summer Slide”
Memory problems don’t just affect adults. School-aged children also suffer a form of memory loss called the “Summer Slide.” The Summer Slide is a phenomenon where children lose some of the skills or information they learned the previous school year over their summer break. Teachers often need to spend days or weeks reviewing at the start of a new year rather than picking up where they left off the previous year because the children just don’t remember.
One way to fight the Summer Slide is to hire an online tutor to keep your kids’ brains firing and learning all summer long. Encourage reading and imaginative play rather than allowing them to veg out in front of a screen all summer long. When the new school year starts, their minds will be primed and ready for further learning.
- Head Injuries/Trauma
One of the most common causes of memory problems in adults is head trauma. Even if the injury is minor and you didn’t lose consciousness, it could still be enough to cause memory issues. Depending on the severity of the injury, this type of memory loss often resolves itself. In the meantime, you must be patient and cut yourself some slack. A loss of memory can be frustrating, but if you seek appropriate medical attention and allow your brain time to heal, your memories should return on their own.
Some medications, or some combination of medications, can cause issues with forgetfulness and memory loss. Depending on what you’re taking the medications for, you may or may not be able to stop taking them. Talk with your doctor about the issues you’re having and whether there’s an alternative that will stop or reduce the memory problems you’re experiencing. There’s often more than one way to treat both physical and mental conditions, so don’t struggle needlessly if you think your memory issues may be a side-effect of your medication.
- Emotional Issues
Anxiety, stress, and depression put a strain on the mind and body, which can cause memory issues and forgetfulness. They can also cause a lack of focus and confusion. Sometimes, talking with a licensed therapist helps resolve these emotional issues for a better quality of life.
- Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin deficiency – specifically vitamin B-12 – can cause memory problems. Vitamin B-12 is responsible for maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells and is often lacking in older adults.
While an occasional glass of wine or organic gin can form part of a healthy lifestyle, chronic alcoholism is a major cause of memory issues as it interferes with cognition. Alcohol also interacts with many medications, which can also cause memory issues when the two are ingested together.
- Brain Disease
Akin to dementia, some brain diseases such as tumors or infections can cause memory loss and confusion. These diseases may or may not be treatable, so consult your doctor if you’re experiencing memory issues accompanied by headaches or fever.
Memory loss and forgetfulness can be frustrating issues to deal with for both the sufferer and their close family and friends. If you are experiencing memory problems and you fall into any of the categories listed above, talk to your doctor right away for a diagnosis and possible treatment to slow or reverse the cause.