Whether it’s where you put your keys, that one thing on your grocery list, or words to a song, we all forget things every once in a while. However, it could be more than just brain fog if you find yourself regularly asking, “Why do I keep forgetting things?”. We understand that memory loss at any degree is inconvenient, frustrating, and can become quite concerning as it progresses. Let’s take a look at the condition, including what it is and the common causes of memory loss.

What is memory loss?

Memory loss is the inability to remember new events or recall past memories. It’s important to note that everyone experiences occasional bouts of forgetfulness, which is totally normal – there’s no way you could remember every single memory from the time that you were born. Actual memory loss is characterized by a consistent abnormal or unusual degree of forgetfulness.

Short term memory loss vs. long term memory loss:

Short term memory loss happens when you forget things that you’ve heard, seen, or did recently. Typically, this is the part of your memory that encompasses events from 30 seconds to several days.

Long term memory loss refers to the inability to retrieve memories that are from a few days to many years old. This is how your brain stores facts, personal memories, and the name of your first crush.

What causes memory loss?

Whether it is due to the natural aging process or a medical condition, memory loss can show up for a variety of reasons. Being cognizant of the source of your memory loss is essential in getting the help that you need to fix the issue. Here is a list of the most common reasons that memory loss may occur:

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression are emotional issues that can make someone forgetful. Typically, once the emotional state has subsided memory tends to go back to normal.

  • Aging is one of the most well-known reasons for memory loss. As we get older, mild signs of forgetfulness are frequently experienced. This may result in difficulty learning or occasional forgetfulness, but it is not serious.

  • Medications like muscle relaxers, antidepressants and antihistamines can sometimes affect brain function, which can cause a temporary delay in memory.

  • Nutrition deficiency, specifically vitamin B1 and vitamin B12, can cause memory issues. As we age, our body has a harder time absorbing vitamins that are essential for optimal brain performance.

  • Sleep deprivation can interfere with the brain’s ability to consolidate and retrieve information. When we sleep, the mind takes part of this time to consolidate our memories. If someone is experiencing a lack of sleep it can diminish the brain’s ability to do so.

  • Strokes typically cause short term memory loss. Many people who have suffered a stroke can remember their childhood, but not the last meal they had.

  • Severe head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, have the ability to cause both short term and long term memory loss.

  • Alcoholism/ Substance Abuse can cause long term effects on memory. For example, illegal drugs have the ability to change the chemical that recalls memories.

The first step to answering the question “Why do I keep forgetting things?” is by getting a professional diagnosis through a memory loss test. If you are experiencing unusual or abnormal forgetfulness, you may qualify for a FREE memory screening at Olympian Clinical Research. Head to our website and apply to finally get to the bottom of what is causing your memory loss.

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