BY MICHAEL ROIZEN, M.D., AND MEHMET OZ, M.D.
Like a nice burgundy, certain parts of your memory improve with age — specifically, highly learned information such as your vocabulary and your memory of how to do things (like how to make an egg-white omelet that tastes great). Other parts of your mind? Maybe not so much. But the following two lapses are easy to help. Here's how:
What Slacks Off: Your Senses
All memories begin with your senses, so any sensory loss, including impaired vision and hearing, can distort and fragment the info reaching your memory.
Make up for it: You may need extra sensory stimulation to perceive new information. So keep your eyeglass prescription up to date and get that hearing aid you keep putting off (they really have improved in the past five years).
What Slacks Off: Processing Speed
The speed at which you react to and process information slows with age. So learning new things — like the name of your neighbor's new dog — requires a more conscious effort.
Also, because you have a whole library of information stored in your brain, it can be a challenge to go back over all the birthday parties and names of Elizabeth Taylor's exes to locate things quickly. So you may need more time to recall information.
Make up for it: To remember new information better, try linking it to an existing memory (link a new Doug to a Doug you already know). As for digging up old information, try using contextual cues. Think back to the rooms you were in, the activities you were doing, and the conversations you had when the memory occurred. Once you think about some specifics, other details usually follow.
The YOU Docs — Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz — are authors of "YOU: Being Beautiful — The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty." To submit questions and find ways to grow younger and healthier, go to www.RealAge.com, the docs' online home.