A slower recall of information is an effect that comes with aging. However, there is a certain point where it is past normal and could be a sign of something more serious. The range on what would be considered average memory loss and dementia or other health-related illnesses varies a bit depending on genetics.
Overall, there are ways to reduce your risks, and cognitive decline or having memory problems isn’t an immediate sign of dementia or health-related illnesses. Still, it could be increasing your risk of contracting one.
Cognitive health refers to how you think, learn, and remember. As you age, your risk for memory-related illnesses and conditions increases, so it’s essential to pay attention to what is going on, talk to your doctor, and reduce your risk.
There is memory loss that comes from the natural process of aging and memory loss caused by more severe conditions. Examples would be occasionally forgetting where you left things, forgetting names of acquaintances, and becoming easily distracted. It becomes more serious when it affects the way you function in your day to day life. The big difference between normal aging and dementia is the degree to which it affects your day-to-day life.
Exercising will increase the oxygen to your brain and reduce the risk of memory loss and other disorders. It also releases chemicals that reduce stress hormones.
Managing High Blood Pressure
Controlling high blood pressure will help your brain and heart. According to the National Institute Of Aging, studies have shown that high blood pressure in your 40s-60s increases the risk for cognitive decline as you age. By lowering blood pressure, your risk for cognitive impairment decreases, decreasing your risk of getting dementia.
Eating Healthy Foods
According to Harvard University, eating healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish improves your blood vessels’ health, which reduces the risk for stroke, which damages your memory.
Stay connected with friends or the people around you, isolation can lead to dementia, and being around others is good for our mental and physical health.
By getting enough sleep, exercising, doing yoga, and all-around doing things to relax, we can successfully manage and limit our stress. On their own, stress, anxiety, and depression can cause memory loss. By making these symptoms more manageable, you can eliminate a factor of cognitive decline.
Adults should be getting, on average, 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Research indicates that poor sleep is a risk factor for cognitive decline (Impact of Sleep on The Risk Of Cognitive Decline and Dementia by Adam P. Spira et al.).
Another risk factor is smoking. When you smoke, you reduce the amount of oxygen going to your brain. According to WebMD, studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to match names to faces than people who don’t smoke.
All in all, there is an average level of cognitive decline that goes along with aging and other symptoms that increase the risk of developing dementia. Memory loss isn’t an immediate sign of something more severe, but it should be looked at and figured out.
Health risks such as high blood pressure can also cause memory loss and so can certain medications, a mixture of different drugs, stress, lack of sleep, and smoking. It is vital to eliminate or reduce these other risks but consult a doctor before you stop taking medications.
By managing and reducing these risks, you may see an improvement in your memory. You can also exercise and train your brain to keep these skills sharp and reduce the effects of age-related cognitive decline.