Patients often tell me, “Getting old ain’t for sissy’s!” I would tend to agree. Over the last 40 years of helping people hear better I have seen and heard a ton of stories. I hear jubilant stories and dreaded stories. I get to hear about life. I get the privilege of being a “confidante.” Patients and their loved ones worry ... and at the same time, hope for the best, pray for the best.

One of the most concerning health topics is memory loss. Heck, even I worry about it when I can’t remember something. I figure I am so busy and a multi-task specialist, so I will just jump ship to another venue if memory loss or dementia tries to slow me down.

But seriously, it concerns so many patients. Is it memory loss or dementia? Did you know that sometimes memory loss can be reversed? Sometimes memory loss can look like dementia when it really isn’t.

Dementia is caused by nerve cell damage and their connection in the brain. Dementia is a group of different symptoms. These can include memory, thinking and your social skills. If your daily lifestyle is altered because of such symptoms then it is wise to talk to your family doctor.

What can your doctor do? There are some diseases that may look like dementia but are actually a reaction to vitamin deficiencies or medicines. Once treated then the dementia symptoms may be reversed.

Eating healthy, of course, is always a smart option. Specifically, it is suggested that a Mediterranean Diet is best for our brains. Don’t drink large amounts of alcohol. Apparently, an occasional drink doesn’t hurt you. If you have high blood pressure get it under control. Diabetics have an increased risk of dementia ... especially if it is glucose levels are not controlled properly. Anxiety and depression later in life may be an indicator of developing dementia. Stop smoking. It is just bad for you all the way around. Get blood work done regularly. Make sure they are checking your Vitamin D and B-complex vitamins. Research is also leaning on the importance of Vitamin C.

A person low in Vitamin D and B-complex, B6, B12 and Folate have increased risks of memory loss. People with sleep apnea also have an increased risk of memory loss. Both of these scenarios may mimic dementia when in fact it may be a “reversible memory loss” issue. Perhaps medicine is causing a memory issue.

Whenever our brain is involved it can be really scary. If you are having problems with hearing loss, depression or anxiety then I urge you to see a qualified health professional to help you figure out the underlying cause of the problem.

Memory is directly related to your hearing ability. After all, you can’t be expected to remember what you did not hear properly in the first place. We are here to help and to calm your nerves. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.