We all seem to forget things at times, especially when we get older. It might cause us to worry and think we have a memory problem. Really, you only need to worry when the number of times you forget outnumbers the moments you remember. This may be short-term memory loss, and a cause for concern.
Short-term memory loss means you are fuzzy about what happened 20 minutes ago, but you can remember incidents from 20 years ago. Short-term memory is found in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex of the brain. It encompasses periods of time from 20 to 30 seconds, and you may only be able to hold on to five to seven short term memories at a time. There are many medical reasons why your short-term memory might be shorting out.
8. Brain Aneurysm
A brain aneurysm is a weak bulge on the wall of one of your brain arteries, which could break. A blood clot in the brain usually occurs in the space between the brain and the thin tissue covering the brain. It is life-threatening if ruptured, and its symptoms are a “sudden worst headache in the world” feeling.
7. Tumor Growth
Abnormal growth of cells can cause a tumor, which could be affecting the frontal lobe section of the brain where short-term memory is found. Even people on cancer treatment are affected and will say they have “chemo brain” when they can’t remember something.
6. Head Trauma and Amnesia
Head trauma could include injuries from hitting your head, like a concussion, or brain infections that can temporarily affect short-term memory. Amnesia can be caused by trauma to the brain, drug overdoses, and emotional shocks. These could result in permanent memory loss, although some have regained memories over time.
5. Alcohol or Drug Abuse
Drug or alcohol additions can affect your memory over time. If you are intoxicated, many times you cannot remember anything. This can be reversed with long-term sobriety.
4. Silent Strokes
Silent strokes are small and can go undetected. It can happen while you sleep or even when awake, but with no symptoms. This can still cause brain damage, which is often irreversible, but possible improvements can be seen over time.
There are many medications that have a side effect on short-term memory. These can include painkillers like opioids, cholesterol drugs like statins, diabetes medications, anti-anxiety, or anti-depressive drugs. In most cases, memory will return after the drugs are no longer taken.
2. Anxiety and Depression
Either of these common mental health issues can cause short-term memory loss. If depression or anxiety becomes overwhelming, it affects your short-term memory during that period of time.
1. Aging, Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Short-term memory loss can be a natural part of aging. It can be bothersome at times, and so we just need to start making more lists or sticky notes to remember! It becomes dementia or Alzheimer’s disease when it affects other parts of life, like repeating the same questions, forgetting common words, or mixing words up.