Forgetting the important things in our everyday life is a very common problem faced by many of us e.g. forgetting the time of an important appointment or paying bills before the last date or even leaving an important document at home before leaving for office. For these activities there are no natural reminders and therefore they seem to be problematic for elderly people to cope with this age-related deficiency.  This is called amnesia when an individual fails to remembers things they should remember usually.

However, this may be a problem for the young people and they may forget things like returning a book borrowed from a friend or forgetting the deadline of a project. It is normal to be forgetful as we grow older as our nervous system is affected by various factors viz. job stress or family problems etc. But it may be a matter of concern when your forgetfulness gets worse day by day and you should seek medical help for this problem.

Types of Amnesia

According to medical science there are mainly three types of memory loss based on the symptoms, family history of a patient and the intensity of problem.

  1. Immediate memory – Any kind of sound or image that remains in the memory for a very brief period of time.
  2. Short term memory – Telephone numbers, name of a place, name of a person, colour of a dress all these remain in our brain for about 20 seconds and our brain can keep memories of short time in seven segments.
  3. Long term memory– These are permanent memories over which you have thought repeatedly.

What are the causes of memory loss in young and elderly people?

There are various causes for which an individual can suffer from loss of memory. But some of the commonest of causes of amnesia are- stress, anxiety and depression. Of these three elderly people are more likely to suffer from amnesia caused by depression and stroke. The other reasons for which even young people may have memory loss are any kind of head injury, thyroid problems, deficiency of Vitamin B1, sudden trauma and stress problems.

How can you fight amnesia?

  1. Try to maintain a diary at home and at your work place to keep you reminded of your important meetings and things to do
  2. Try to do the small household works in the same time and in the same order e.g. taking your BP drug, reading the newspaper, watering your plants etc.
  3. Try to read out to someone the important thing(s) you need to remember instead of writing them down.
  4. Use an alarm for the first few days to remind you to do something important regularly. Afterward turn off the alarm and try to remember manually.

Amnesia or memory loss is a very common global problem among people of any age group. Only a positive outlook towards life and proper clinical guidance is all you need to combat this ailment and live a happy, healthy life!

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