Tuesday, June 18, 2019

10 Health Problems To Look Out For As You Get Older


As we get older, certain health problems can become common. Some of these can be the result of lifestyle choices, whilst others may be the result of natural wear and tear. Here are a few common health problems to keep an eye on as you get older.

Arthritis

Pain and stiffness in the joints could be a sign of arthritis. This is when the joints become inflamed, usually as a result of a breakdown in cartilage. More than a quarter of the population is thought to suffer from arthritis at some point in their life – most often in later life (although some people can develop it when they’re young). It can be hereditary, however it can also be caused by being overweight or by continuous repeated actions. There’s no cure for most forms of arthritis, but there are ways of slowing it down and reducing pain such as staying active, avoiding stress and looking into various forms of pain relief.

Cataracts

Noticed that your vision has been getting a little cloudy? This could be a sign of cataracts. This eye condition result in the lens of the eye thickening up. It can occur naturally through aging, although certain activities can increase the risk of developing cataracts such as smoking, not wearing sunglasses in the sun or consuming too much sugar (it’s linked with diabetes). A cataract can be removed through surgery. Ignoring cataracts can lead to blindness – it’s best to catch them early and see a doctor as soon have concerns.

Hearing loss

If you’ve noticed you’re straining to hear people in conversations or that you’re continuously turning up the volume on your TV, you could be starting to lose your hearing. Hearing loss is common in older age – the nerve cells may develop wear and tear naturally over time, although regular exposure to loud noise can increase the risk. Hearing loss can usually be corrected with a hearing aid. Don’t be put off by hearing aid costs – there are lots of cheap deals out there and some clinics even offer free hearing tests. Without a hearing aid, you could cause greater strain on the ear and develop further hearing loss, so it’s wise to get checked as soon as you notice a problem.

Diabetes

If you’ve been feeling weak, unusually hungry/thirsty and keep getting the urge to urinate, you could be suffering from diabetes. This is common later on in life, although it can occur at any age. Diabetes causes the body to stop producing insulin correctly, often as a result of weight gain and high blood sugar levels (it can be genetic, although in such cases it will usually develop as type 1 earlier in life rather than the largely lifestyle-affected type 2). By eating healthily and losing weight, you can manage diabetes and even cure it in some cases. It’s worth seeing a doctor if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease

A number of nervous system disorders can develop later on in life. A common condition is Parkinson’s diseases, resulting in tremors and rigid muscles that can make many physical tasks very difficult and sometimes impossible as the condition progresses. This is the result nerve signals no longer working properly. Although there is no cure, physiotherapy and medication can help to manage Parkinson’s and slow it down. You should see a doctor immediately if your suspect you may have the condition.

Osteoporosis

If you’ve been breaking bones more easily and suffering deep pain (particularly in the spine or knees), this could be a sign of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis results in weakening of the bones. Whilst it can be genetic, a few lifestyle choices such as heavy drinking, smoking, having a poor diet and doing little exercise can increase the risk. You can rebuild bone density with medication, a calcium-heavy diet and by doing low-impact exercise.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis causes difficulty breathing, wheezing and sometimes a sore throat. It can be caused by viruses, but in most cases it is caused by breathing in harmful particles. Smokers and people that work of live in places with poor air quality are most likely to develop bronchitis later in life. Sufferers of chronic bronchitis are often advised to stop smoking and use inhalers. Those that ignore symptoms of bronchitis may end up permanently on oxygen, so it’s worth getting a diagnosis as soon as you notice breathing difficulties.

Dementia

Have you noticed yourself getting more forgetful or getting lost in familiar places? This could be an early sign of dementia. This notorious condition becomes more of a risk as people get older – as much as 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Over time it can develop into serious loss of memory until the sufferer may not even recognise relatives or their home. Many people are scared to get a diagnosis due to dementia being incurable, however catching it early has its advantages – a number of lifestyle changes may be able to slow down symptoms. Exercising, keeping a healthy diet, reducing stress and engaging in problem-solving activities may slow down and even reverse dementia if caught early.

Cancer

Many of us know of someone who has had cancer. In fact, 1 in 3 of us will suffer from cancer at some point in our lives. The exact cause of cancer is unknown, but it has been strongly linked with various unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating the wrong food, exposure to chemicals and too much exposure to UV light. Nowadays there’s so much support and treatment available for those with cancer – whilst it’s a leading cause of death, half of cancer cases are cured (usually those caught early). There are many signs of cancer, which are worth reading up on so that you can spot symptoms early.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the biggest killer. Chest pain, breathlessness and nausea are common symptoms of heart disease. When diagnosed early, it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. The most common causes are stress, smoking, heavy drinking or being overweight. Heart disease is something you don’t want to ignore and you should see a doctor as soon as notice any symptoms.

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