Memory loss is commonly associated with elderly people, and is seen as something that comes with age.
Regardless of age – everyone is prone to short-term memory loss. Have you ever been in the awkward situation where you can’t remember someone’s name? That’s short-term memory loss.
Causes of Short Term Memory Loss
I can imagine there are many causes for short term memory loss, and I’m only going to cover a few common ones.
Some medications (over-the-counter as well as prescription) can cause loss of memory. This includes, but is not limited to: antidepressants, antihistamines, sleeping pills, and pain medication, along with many more.
Though it’s not likely that medication will cause short-term memory loss – it’s certainly always a possibility. Consult with your doctor beforehand if you think problems will arise.
Excessive consumption of alcohol has been proven to cause neurological damage to the brain resulting in memory loss. Some damage is reversible, some is permanent. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice glass of red wine with your meal!
Note: Smoking cigarettes is also rather harmful as it reduces the amount of oxygen leading to the brain.
Fatigue is often caused by a lack of sleep; this includes quality as well as quantity. A lack of sleep can reduce our ability to retrieve information… What was your name again?
Depression and Stress
Depression inhibits our ability to concentrate, or focus; likewise with stress and anxiety.
Some of these may be blindingly obvious causes of memory loss, and others may come as a surprise. It’s certainly not a comprehensive list, so if none of those apply to you then don’t panic.
Handling Short-Term Memory Loss Problems
Knowing the cause of your short-term memory loss can help in some ways, but what if you really want to improve your memory? Or reduce the effects?
Below are a few ways to handle particular problems.
Trouble Retrieving and Consolidating Information
- Build the habit of noting down everything that seems important. Using a voice recorder may benefit you.
- Implement a daily review of all the important information you received on that day. This could be anything from your friend’s birthday to a valuable business meeting. This is also a great time to record or note down anything you forgot about.
Lack of Concentration
- Take some time each day to let your mind relax; often we lose concentration from trying to concentrate too hard.
- Take short breaks every 30-60 minutes (60 minutes max). This will refresh your mind and boost concentration levels.
- Stay healthy. That means eating the right food, drinking enough water, and exercising.
- Stop multitasking. It’s hard enough having short-term memory loss, multitasking only makes it worse!
Forgetting to take Medication
- Make medication part of your routine, e.g., take it when you wake up and have a shower.
- Use a cellphone or other device to remind you to take your medication multiple times per day.
- Invest in a MedCenter Talking Monthly Medication Organizer. This is the easiest and most consistent way to remember to take your medication.
- Review tomorrow’s tasks/errands when you do a daily review as explained above
- Use a digital calendar.
Unfortunately some problems that arise with memory loss cannot be resolved; the bullet points above are merely ways to combat the negative effects of memory loss by setting up systems in your life.
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Disclaimer: This information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. We cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician.