So, how's your memory these days....

  Forum Editor 15:43 15 Mar 2015
Locked

Are you as sharp as a pin, or do you find yourself forgetting things that you really should know?

We all suffer a degree of memory loss as the years roll on, but it happens to some more than others. I readily admit to forgetting names on occasion, and it can be embarrassing. I met an old client at the airport one day, and chatted to her for five minutes before her name came back to me. I think I got away with it, but I was panicking slightly. I forget the names of actors; my wife and I went to see a film recently. I was telling my daughter about it the next day, and do you think I could remember that it was Judy Dench in one of the lead parts?

I'm not alone, apparently What about you (whatever your name is)?

  Forum Editor 11:17 18 Mar 2015

"do not now like driving in the dark with headlamp glare"

That's extremely common, in fact everyone's night vision degenerates with age. There are various causal factors, and some people have a combination of several, so there's no 'normal' level for night vision in older people.

  wee eddie 12:09 18 Mar 2015

I now find Blue Light difficult to focus on. Whereas all other colours are clearly defined, blue usually has a sort of haze around it. Particularly noticeable with Christmas Tree Lights.

  Forum Editor 14:09 18 Mar 2015

wee eddie

The halo effect around lights, particularly at night, is caused by various eye defects - one of which can be the age-related night vision deterioration I mentioned.

Maybe an eye check is indicated?

  Sapins 16:15 18 Mar 2015

A friend of mine gave me the title of a brilliant book on how to improve your memory.

Trouble is I keep forgetting to buy it.

  wee eddie 16:41 18 Mar 2015

FE: Interestingly it is only blue lights and I have had it for over 20 years. Lights in all other parts of the spectrum are clearly in focus, including green.

  Ex plorer 17:03 18 Mar 2015

Can be funny when you forget, I put spuds in the oven for jacket potatoes for my tea.

I was looking in the food cupboard to see what I could have with the Jackets and spotted corned beef, opened it (Memory laps) scrubbed up some new potatoes made a Yorkshire salad within twenty minutes sat down and had my tea, yep completely forgot about the Jackets until I smelt them burning.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:25 18 Mar 2015

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Most of us can relate to the problems in the video.

Saw this 2 weeks ago but has taken awhile to remember the title to refind it.

1]: [click here

  TopCat® 18:29 19 Mar 2015

I only recently remembered, thanks to the wife, that I had an eye inspection due. Duly turned up and found I had cataracts forming on both eyes and a slight change needed to my subscription. The cataracts would not, thankfully yet, impair my driving status which was a relief. I did find my new distance specs to be an excellent improvement though.

My memory is shocking, both short and long-term. Struggle as I might I cannot easily recall names of people or most recent events for that matter. Yet my elder brother (84 this year) can recall just about every detail of both his and my history from when I was born and lived and worked in Sheffield. I often call him up just to chat about things and I always finish up learning some more about his and my childhood.

Sadly, he frequently has to refresh my memory as I cannot seem to retain such things. I most certainly envy his good fortune. T.

  Forum Editor 19:06 19 Mar 2015

TopCat®

Your description of the disparity in memory ability between you and your brother is a classic example of the way that we are -some people seem to retain their ability to remember past events far better than others as they age.

Memory takes different forms, there is what is called semantic memory, which is the ability to retain concepts, and that tends to remain the same, or even improve slightly as you age. An example of semantic memory is knowing what a carburettor does, for instance, or a clock. Your semantic memory enables you to read these words and understand what they mean.

The there's procedural memory -that's what enables you to look at the clock and tell the time, or tell when that steak is cooked. Procedural memory tends to stay much the same as you age.

Episodic memory enables you to remember why you are standing in that supermarket, or when you last had a drink. That kind of memory tends to decline as you age - it's why you have a problem recalling recent events.

Long term memory - the kind that enables your 84 year old brother to recall events from your childhood - differs with individuals. Your brother is better at it than you, and he has probably always been better. That's life. Long term memories (sometimes they're called reference memories) are written to the hard drive that is your brain in a complex way - there are various theories concerning how it's done. We tend to be much better at recalling a memory from long ago if there's some kind of cue - a smell for instance, a piece of music, or a place. How often have you smelt something and felt as if you are immediately back in the past - remembering an event, or a place, or a person? It's as if our brain records memories with associated triggers; as soon as the trigger is pressed the memory is recalled from the file system.

Most of us will experience memory loss of one kind or another as we age, it's normal, and shouldn't be a worry. The time to see a doctor is when you look at that bunch of keys and you don't know what they are called, or what they do.

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