With age comes increased risk for a multitude of different health conditions. Unfortunately, parts begin to wear out as the body gets older and problems can arise. Knowing which issues to be aware of can greatly improve self-confidence, treatment possibilities, and overall well-being. These ten health conditions are key players for a variety of aging individuals.
1. Vision Loss
Many older adults find themselves at the optometrists with a need for glasses of different prescription varieties. Though vision impairment is not exclusively associated with old age, a majority of people with the need for glasses are older. If you notice blurry font while reading the newspaper, difficulty concentrating on text for extended periods of time, or regular headaches when you read, it might be time to schedule an appointment at your eye doctor’s office. A simple battery of tests will let you know exactly what prescription you need.
2. Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
Bone loss is another common condition among aging adults. Falling is often the culprit behind fractures that indicate a larger issue with bone mass. Getting a DEXA or bone scan as a referral from your general practitioner can be a convenient way to diagnose osteopenia, or weakening of the bones before you encounter osteoporosis, which is more extreme. Incorporating strong sources of calcium into your diet can help to keep bones strong throughout the body.
3. Hearing Loss
Often, hearing difficulties accompany aging. Typically individuals lose the ability to hear high pitched sounds first, which can make it difficult to hear women or kids speak. Loud noise exposure over a long period of time can also damage hearing. Often veterans, construction workers, and other front-line workers are affected by this phenomenon. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of treatments for hearing loss, including hearing aids which are increasingly popular. Styles and designs are even more discreet than ever before.
4. Memory Loss
Unfortunately, cognitive impairment in the form of memory loss is fairly common in old age. Severity ranges widely from mild to severe. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most serious forms of memory loss, during which an individual experiences dementia and other extreme symptoms. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, memory games, brain teasers, riddles, and numerical puzzles can all help to keep neuronal pathways intact.
5. Bathroom Issues
Incontinence and constipation are fairly common among aging adults. The former is most apparent in women over age fifty who have less control over pelvic muscles. Constipation is defined as three or fewer bowel movements over the course of a week. Fiber, exercise, and increased water intake can all help the excretory systems function more smoothly.
One out of five people in the United States are affected by arthritis. As joints age, the space in them compresses, which causes cartilage on the outside of bones to rub together. Once the cartilage is worn away entirely, the bones rub together and cause pain. There are a variety of different treatments for arthritis if the condition is raised to a physician’s attention.
Lots of aging adults find themselves walking or moving unsteadily. This could be a side effect of vision or hearing issues, arthritis, or something else. Activities like yoga that strengthen and stretch muscles around joints are great for improving and maintaining balance.
8. Heart Disease
Older adults are at increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease. A balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and regular medical checkups all help to ensure heart health. If you have a family history of heart disease or any previous episodes, be sure to inform your medical care provider so that they can recommend appropriate preventative measures.
Over twenty five percent of people over the age of sixty in the United States are diabetic. Ensuring low sugar intake is one of the best ways to prevent against the condition.
As the body ages, the immune system weakens. This means that regular sleep, eating a balanced diet, and hand washing are especially important for older adults to prevent the flu and other infections as effectively as possible.
Being aware of these ten health conditions allows for as thorough prevention as possible. Let your doctor know of any predispositions to conditions, and be sure to show yourself some self-care this season.