Even if you have no family history of dementia, there’s a good chance you’re unknowingly putting yourself at risk for developing the condition down the road. Interestingly, it’s more of a condition than a specific disease, the Alzheimer’s Association says. It refers to a collection of symptoms related with cognitive decline, including memory loss and impaired judgment. Alzheimer’s is the type of dementia you’re probably familiar with, but it’s also not the only type.
It’s not a natural part of the aging cycle, either. Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells, which can happen in a number of different ways. More importantly, there are things you do today that may increase or decrease your risk of dementia later. Physical activity and living a generally healthy lifestyle are all part of the equation. But there are many other things people do on a daily basis that also skew the odds. Here are 10 ways you may be unwittingly increasing your dementia risk.
1. Taking certain types of medicine
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications have been linked to increased dementia rates. Anticholinergic drugs, which many adults use for seasonal allergies or overactive bladder, for example, were singled out by a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Benadryl and Tylenol PM users, beware.