Dementia is a combination of a variety of symptoms that interferes with an individual’s cognitive functioning. Generally, dementia occurs when nerve cells in the brain fail to function, resulting in conditions such as forgetfulness, inability to reason well, among other symptoms. Although the condition is common in older people, it is not an inevitable aging disease. Even though it is common for a person to forget things at times, some degree of forgetfulness is not natural and maybe as a result of dementia and related disorders.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disorders are not the same, as many would think. Dementia is a general term that describes symptoms that affects reasoning, the performance of routine activities, and communication. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. The two conditions express almost similar symptoms, but distinguishing them is critical when it comes to management and treatment. It is more likely to overlook the signs and symptoms of dementia, as most of the time are mild. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, notify your medical officer for early diagnosis:
1. Memory loss
Normal forgetfulness may not distract you from living a full, productive life. For instance, you might forget a person’s name and later remember it. These changes in memory loss are manageable. Dementia also starts with similar symptoms but worsens with time, impairing a person’s ability to work and interact.
2. Problem solving difficulties
A person with dementia may find it challenging to plan and solve some easy tasks they regularly used to complete. Problem-solving difficulties may cause more challenges, such as when adding numbers, setting on a television, preparing a cup of coffee, operating a computer, and so on. These difficulties with accomplishing familiar tasks could happen at work or at home.
3. Confusing about time and place
People with dementia may find it challenging to judge the passing of time. They are also more likely to forget where they are at a particular time. Remembering the past or recalling future plans is not a surprise with people suffering from dementia.
4. Difficulties processing visual information
Understanding visual information is a common challenge for people with dementia. It can be hard to differentiate colors, judge distance, or even reading comprehensively. People who drive or cycle may start having difficulties completing tasks associated with these functions.
5. Difficulties communicating
People with dementia may find a challenge when giving a speech or when communicating with others. Patients may fail to understand what they are saying hence, becoming hard to engage in a conversation. It is also possible for these people to find their grammar and punctuation becoming worse.
6. When to visit a doctor
If you experience or notice any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
Although there is no known cure for dementia, there are effective treatment options that can help reduce the progression of the disease and manage symptoms, and so improves the quality of the patient’s life.