Aging not only brings on wrinkles and hair graying, it also brings on some health issues. Conditions develop and progress with age, and these conditions should be monitored so they do not reduce your quality of life. Some of these things are taken for granted, so you need to take care of them in order to preserve your health.
Incontinence and constipation are common as people get older. Pelvic muscles loosen and in turn, urine releases from the bladder. Kidneys can not remove wastes from our blood like it used to, and blood vessels harden and become less sensitive. Incontinence can also be caused due to sensation loss or dysfunction, cognitive impairment, loss of mobility, or stress induced.
Hearing loss is one of the most common health issues for seniors, impacting one in four older adults. Aging affects the middle and inner ear. They do not work with the auditory nerve that travels to the brain like it used to. Loud noises will damage the hair cells in your ears, and those are the cells that help protect your ears and hearing.
According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of six seniors have a visual impairment. Issues with vision can include spots of floaters in your vision, blackness in your view, redness or pain in your eye, double vision, and blurred vision. Regular eye exams can catch any of these problems before symptoms occur.
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in adults over the age of 65, affecting almost 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels should be monitored because these are signs that your heart is working too hard. These conditions increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. In order to avoid this, exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, and go to yearly exams and talk to your doctor.
Skin becomes thinner and loses the ability to hold water as it ages. Your skin becomes drier, and in the end, this causes a loss of immune cells, which of course increases your likelihood of an infection because wounds take longer to heal. Elasticity also decreases, and age spots occur in areas that have been exposed to the sun.
Arthritis & Osteoporosis
Arthritis occurs when the cartilage between your bones start to wear down, causing bone on bone rubbing. It is the number one condition that adults 65 or older get and must deal with. The CDC estimates that it affects half of adults over 65 and leads to pain. Arthritis decreases mobility and often stiffens and swells your joints, often discouraging adults from being active.
Bones start to weaken and become more brittle with time, causing a condition called osteoporosis. While growing up, everyone’s bones are constantly being broken down, followed by creating new bones. But by the time middle-age rolls around, typically between 30-40 years old, bone loss increases since bone growth has stopped by your 20’s. Your bones become weak, causing osteoporosis in adults 65 and older. As your bone mass becomes low, you are more likely to fracture or break a bone, which can lead to mobility issues and lessened quality of life.
Yearly doctor visits and consulting with your doctor with any of these issues can help prevent them from getting worse. Your overall quality of life will be improved if you stay on top of your health, stay active, and eat right.