Delirium is a mental confusion condition caused by some sort of extreme body or mind stress. It is sometimes referred to as an “acute confusional disease” because it happens relatively quickly, whereas Alzheimer’s usually develops over a long time.
What is Delirium?
The main symptom of delirium is that the individual is unable to concentrate or pay attention. Delirium often also induces a variety of other cognitive symptoms, such as problems with memory, language issues, disorientation, or even vivid hallucinations. The symptoms “fluctuate” in most cases, with the person appearing at certain times better and at other times worse, especially later in the day.
Delirium is usually triggered by medical illness or hospitalization stress, particularly if there is surgery and anesthesia in the hospitalization. It’s much more common than many people realize at some stage during hospitalization, about 30 percent of seniors experience delirium.
Distinctions Between Delirium and Alzheimer’s
People often confuse delirium and dementia because they both cause confusion and appear similar. In addition, people with dementia are quite likely to develop delirium.
The more fragile a person’s brain is, the easier it is to fall into delirium. Therefore, to get delirious, a younger person usually has to be very, very sick. But a fragile, older person with Alzheimer’s may become delirious just because they are exhausted and deprived of sleep while in hospital.
It’s a temporary state of being, not evolving over time. Actually, this is one of the signs occurring over a short period of time. At a glance, the issues associated with it are somewhat close to dementia, as it involves problems with memory, hallucinations, and language problems.
A term used to characterize brain changes that result in reduced cognitive abilities. It often progresses slowly, with symptoms increasing over time. It is caused by damaged brain cells, and very often begins with damage to the brain’s memory center.That’s why memory loss is typically the first sign of dementia.
Unknown Facts About Delirium
Delirium is More Common than You Think
At some point during hospitalization, about a third of seniors experience delirium, with delirium becoming even more prevalent in the intensive care unit, where 70 percent of patients have been found to be affected. Delirium is also normal in recovery facilities, one study found that symptoms occurred in 16 percent of patients.
Delirium Can Create Silence
Although people often think of delirium as a state of agitation or restlessness, it often makes people become quieter. This is termed delirium hypo active. It is still associated with attention focused trouble, fluctuating symptoms, and worse-than-usual thought. It is also associated with poor performance.
Delirium Goes Unnoticed
For senior patient accounts, although delirium is extremely common, it is often ignored. In fact, some studies suggest that 70% of the time is missed. That’s because busy hospital staff can find it difficult to see if the condition of an older person is new or worse than usual.
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