Thanks to recent advancements in healthcare and nutrition, what we know as the “golden years” have only gotten better. People today experience an unprecedented quality of life and overall well-being, even as seniors. Average life expectancy rates have also increased, and are now at 80 years for women and 75 years for men in the United States. However, that’s not to say the risk of common health threats that proliferate among the elderly have gone anywhere. On the contrary, changes in our diet and lifestyle have made it more important than ever to ensure that our bones, belly and brain are in working order. Here are five conditions to watch for as you age.
Hearing loss is an important issue in senior health, with around 43 percent of affected Americans being over the age of 65. Common age-related forms of this condition include presbycusis and noise-induced hearing loss. In both cases, the ability to hear higher-pitched sounds deteriorates. Regular testing and hearing aids can help.
As we age, our bodies lose the ability to create new bone tissue faster than old bone tissue is absorbed, which leads to weaker and thinner bones. This describes the development of osteoporosis, a disease that makes your bones fragile enough to experience serious damage even from the smallest movements.
Osteoporosis has no symptoms, so you need to ask an orthopedics professional to schedule a test. Yale Medicine is one such organization, specializing in the treatment of injuries and diseases related to the musculoskeletal system. Whether you’re seeking physical therapy or simply need a scan, you can prepare for your visit with them online.
Over time, the heart has to work harder to continue moving blood through the body. Changes in the circulation system are normal, but others can be related to diseases that lead to heart attack or stroke. Common signs of heart disease include shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness and chest pain. Strokes are another issue to watch for as you age.
Memory is naturally affected by ageing, but only to a certain degree. Cognitive impairment can make the simplest of tasks confusing, as well as making it easy to forget things. Studies estimate that up to 20 percent of seniors have mild cognitive impairment.
The more advanced form is known as Alzheimer’s, which is a serious disease of the brain with irreversible effects. People who suffer from it often begin experiencing memory lapses. Dementia is another example. It’s worth consulting a doctor if you believe you have the symptoms.
Although possible at any age, diabetes is especially prevalent among seniors. With this condition, your blood sugar levels reach dangerous heights. This can lead to a range of complications in areas including your eyes, kidneys, heart and nervous system. Early signs include fatigue, blurry eyesight, extreme hunger and a frequent need to use the bathroom.
These are the most common conditions to watch for as you age. However, there are many more, so be sure to consult a healthcare professional often and always follow a healthy lifestyle.