If we were honest, none of our memories are quite as good as they used to be. Not so long ago, you never forgot a name and could recall precisely what you were doing at this time two years ago. Now, you struggle to remember the name of the person on the desk next to you. You can’t even remember what you had for lunch yesterday.
Lapses of memory like these are expected as you age. You may think memory problems are for the elderly. But, our memories can deteriorate long before that stage. As early as our thirties, many of us start to experience small lapses. Before you send yourself into a panic, remember that it’s entirely normal. In part, this is a result of our busy lives. As adults, we have a lot more day to day stuff to remember. It’s no wonder, then, that we aren’t as good at prioritising information. This is also, in part, a reflection on our hormones. As we age, the hormones which protect and repair brain cells decrease. And, our memories often go with them.
But, it would be naive to assume that every forgetful moment is no reason for worry. While most are, it’s all too easy to overlook the start of severe memory degeneration. If you think there is something more at play, or that you’ve experienced a significant decrease in a short time, consider these steps.
When should you worry?
As we’ve already mentioned, some degree of forgetfulness is to be expected. There’s no getting past the onward march of age. For the most part, these episodes of forgetfulness have no real impact on our lives. In fact, most times, other people don’t even notice them. They’re momentary lapses at best. In the most extreme circumstances, you may forget about an appointment. Again, nothing much to worry about.
A significant warning sign of memory loss is if others start to notice it. Mainly because that suggests it’s begun to impact your life enough to draw comment. Equally, if bouts of forgetfulness become regular, there could be something else going on. In some cases, one episode of forgetfulness is enough to cause worry. If, for instance, you get lost in an area you know, it’s a sure sign something’s not right.
Time to visit the doctor
If you’re reading this post, it would suggest that you could benefit from a visit to your doctor. After all, you’re obviously worried about your memory in some way. With something like this, it’s always better to be safe. So, get over your fear of the doctor and book yourself an appointment. For the most part, your doctor will be able to tell if there’s a problem by listening to your reports. They’ll also conduct a simple memory test, and ask for a follow up in a few month’s time. That way, they can see if things deteriorate in that period. It’s also important to note that there could be all manner of reasons for increased forgetfulness. We tend to jump to problems like Alzheimer’s here, but it’s not that clear-cut. Even something as simple as eating the wrong foods can decrease your memory. Sometimes, issues with the kidneys and liver are also at play. If this is the case, a medical professional can help you unravel the mystery.
Think about your future
Whether you receive a diagnosis or not, forgetfulness could be an inciting reason to think about your future. Even if your situation isn’t medical right now, there’s no getting past the fact it could be an early symptom. Or, perhaps that’s how you’re wired. It may be that your memory is going to be susceptible to age. Either way, now is a good time to contact a solicitor’s like Bannister Preston and make plans for your future. These include writing a will, and also dictating who you’d like to have power of attorney later on. You can adjust these as and when you need to. But, the most devastating thing about memory loss is that it removes our ability to reason. And, if that’s something you see in your future, it’s important to look out for yourself while you still can. This is especially the case if your doctor seems at all worried about the rate with which your memory is deteriorating.
Exercise your brain
Of course, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Spotting an issue like this early gives you time to make a few changes. Even if you get a bill of clean health, the scare in itself should be enough to warrant this. For a nation who put such focus on physical exercise, many of us are guilty of neglecting mental exercise. That’s right; your brain needs occasional workouts, too. This can go a considerable way towards improving memory. It can work, even if you’ve already experienced problems.
There’s nothing to say that your memory loss is anything to worry about. But, if it’s concerning you, it’s crucial you do something about it. By getting yourself a clean bill of health, you put your mind at ease. Then, you’re free to move forward in the right way. One thing’s sure; you may regret not taking these steps later down the line. So, do yourself a favour, and get to work.