Skip to content

    Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Dementia - When To Call a Doctor

    Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if signs of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) develop suddenly. These may include:

    • Numbness, weakness, or inability to move the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
    • Vision problems in one or both eyes, such as dimness, blurring, double vision, loss of vision, or a sensation that a shade is being pulled down over your eyes.
    • Confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding.
    • Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
    • Severe headache with no known cause.

    Call a doctor immediately if a person suddenly becomes confused or emotionally upset or doesn't seem to know who or where he or she is. These are signs of delirium, which can be caused by a reaction to medicines or a new or worsening medical condition.

    Recommended Related to Alzheimer's

    The MIND Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

    Want another great reason to eat healthy? The food choices you make daily might lower your odds of getting Alzheimer’s disease, some scientists say. Researchers have found that people who stuck to a diet that included foods like berries, leafy greens, and fish had a major drop in their risk for the memory-sapping disorder, which affects more than 5 million Americans over age 65. The eating plan is called the MIND diet. Here’s how it works.

    Read the The MIND Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s article > >

    Call a doctor if you or a person you are close to has new and troubling memory loss that is more than an occasional bout of forgetfulness. This may be an early sign of dementia.

    Watchful waiting

    Occasional forgetfulness or memory loss can be a normal part of aging. But any new or increasing memory loss or problems with daily living should be reported to a doctor. Learn the warning signs of dementia, and talk to a doctor if you or a family member shows any of these signs. They include increased trouble finding the right words when speaking, getting lost going to familiar places, and acting more irritable or suspicious than usual.

    Who to see

    The following health professionals can evaluate symptoms of memory loss or confusion:

    To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Remember your finger
    When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
    senior man with serious expression
    Which kinds are treatable?
     
    senior man
    Common symptoms to look for.
    mri scan of human brain
    Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
     
    Checklist
    ARTICLE
    eating blueberries
    ARTICLE
     
    clock
    Article
    Colored mri of brain
    ARTICLE
     
    Human brain graphic
    ARTICLE
    mature woman
    ARTICLE
     
    Woman comforting ailing mother
    ARTICLE
    Senior woman with serious expression
    ARTICLE