How Do I Know If I Have Dementia?
If you are finding yourself starting to forget things, it can be a worrying time. You may be considering the possibility that you are experiencing symptoms of dementia. This article will discuss some of the things you should be watching out for and can do if you begin to experience the signs of dementia.
What Causes Dementia?
Dementia is not a disease in itself but rather a collection of symptoms associated with different diseases which fall into the dementia category. Alzheimer’s is the most common disease associated with dementia; however, there are others such as vascular dementia which is essentially the brain being damaged by mini strokes.
The biggest risk factor for dementia is age, as it’s more common in people over 75, but it can occur in any age group. There are other risk factors as well including genetics, ethnicity, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
While many of these risk factors are unavoidable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is going to give you some level of protection against vascular dementia.
What Symptoms Should I Be Looking Out For?
The most common symptom of dementia is memory loss. This tends to be the first sign that people notice. However, you should not panic immediately if you start forgetting a few things here and there, as this is a normal part of aging.
If you are forgetting lots of things, and it is potentially causing dangerous situations, you may need to seek further advice.There are also other symptoms of dementia depending on the condition.These can include confusion, frustration, irritability, strokes, speech issues, and in some cases, the loss of sensation in the arms.In later stages of dementia, it’s possible for people to lose the ability to walk or swallow.
How Do I Get Diagnosed with Dementia?
If you find you have more than one symptom of dementia, or you have one of them severely, then you should seek medical advice straight away. Diagnosing dementia can be challenging as there are multiple diseases connected to it, but a doctor will likely begin with a physical examination and a discussion about your symptoms. From here they may decide to run some tests which will likely include blood draws and scans of the brain, and they will perform evaluations that test your memory and cognitive abilities.In addition, you could take this dementia quiz to assess your symptoms.
Is There a Treatment for Dementia?
At present, there is no cure for dementia, but there are treatments that will help you to cope with the condition more easily.These include occupational therapy, medications, and physical aids such as wheelchairs if you were to progress to a level where your mobility was impacted. Dementia is more common in older people and some ethnicities such as African Americans, but it can affect anyone at any age. With this in mind, it is a good idea to be aware of the symptoms and seek advice if you are worried.