Brain health and foggy brain days

Ever have a foggy brain day? You know those times when your coordination is off a bit or the right word is on the tip of your tongue and you can’t seem to find it. Join the rest of humanity: everybody has a foggy brain day now and then.

When to consult your doctor about memory issues

When you notice yourself or someone close to you having more and more of these off kind of days, it may be time to consult your doctor.

Even while our brains work quietly and efficiently throughout a lifetime, they’re susceptible to disease and injury, just like any other organ in our body. And, because of our brain’s complexity, sometimes the signs of a problem can be, well, foggy.

Like our other organs, brains thrive when they have good rest, a balanced diet, limited stress, and healthy exercise.

What to expect at a doctor visit

Your doctor will ask you about your health habits

  • How you eat 
  • How you sleep 
  • How you keep mentally active 

Pay attention to your doctor’s advice about changing your diet or sleep habits, modifying your intake of alcohol or other drugs, and using your brain for healthy pursuits like recreation or puzzles and games.

As we get older, it’s easy to blame everything on old age. Don’t be fooled into thinking that old age automatically means declining brain ability. Our brains can provide us with a lifetime of full mental capacity: another good reason to be sure we’re maintaining regular brain check ups.

See your doctor right away if your brain is experiencing these types of signs

  • Persistent headaches
  • Black outs
  • Persistent numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Lapses in memory
  • Erratic sleeping habits

Know the symptoms of a stroke

Be sure you know the signs of a brain attack, another name for a stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, or one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision
  • Sudden trouble walking and loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you notice someone experiencing these signs, dial 911 immediately and get them to an emergency room. Minutes count in helping the brain recover from this most visible sign of something going wrong.

Last reviewed: 
June 2017

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