Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair

OLD AGE AND HEALTH PROBLEMS



Old age is inevitable. And with it comes many health concerns. While we can all strive to eat right and exercise, eventually those aches and pains begin to show and become major concerns as we age.
But old age does not mean the end to mobility and flexibility. It is something that doesn't need to be feared. It can be the opportunity to take the steps to prevent illness and change a wrong lifestyle before those pains and disease become chronic. Health problems among the aged are more numerous, but that doesn't mean they need to be accepted as an inevitable part of aging.

Blood Pressure






Blood pressure is a major problem for many seniors. It often comes from living a life in the fast lane with high stress. As we age, blood pressure tends to increase. But those retirement years can be used productively to learn how to reduce high blood pressure and experience the joy of simply living through a relaxed lifestyle.

Deteriorating vision






Your eyes are aging right along with the rest of your body. While you may have enjoyed perfect, or near perfect, vision in the early years of your life, most senior citizens must contend with vision issues. Some, such as presbyopia or other changes in visual accuracy, can be corrected with glasses. Other conditions are more serious. Cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration are conditions which can cause significant and permanent harm to the eyes.  The sooner a doctor is consulted on the more serious issues, the better the chances of retaining optimal vision.

Hearing loss




Half of all people over 85 suffer from some level of hearing loss. A lifetime of sound and noise can damage the inner ear. Aging causes the eardrum to thicken and the auditory canals to recede. Medical technology has advanced to the point where hearing aids are relatively inconspicuous.

Dental problems




Good dental health throughout life will help protect your teeth as you age. Even so, many older individuals must deal with dry mouth and receding gum lines that can adversely affect dental health. It is not uncommon for older adults to require dentures or partial dental plates to replace teeth lost through decay or infection.

Sleep problems




Older adults often complain about disrupted sleep cycles and the inability to get a good night's sleep. Disruptions can be caused by hormonal changes, medications, issues with bladder control or enlarged prostates that cause the individual to wake up several times throughout the night, or conditions such as sleep apnea.

Weight changes




The aging process slows the metabolism. If you don't account for this slow down with a decrease in calorie intake (most researchers suggest reducing calorie intake by 50 to 100 calories per day with each passing decade) you may notice the scale creeping upward. Add to this any physical problems that make regular exercise either painful or difficult and you may find that weight increase to be rather significant.

Bone health




Bones achieve their maximum mass by around age 30. From that point on, bones begin to lose density. Calcium deficiencies can become a serious problem that can lead to osteoporosis. Individuals suffering from osteoporosis may become stooped over and run a greater risk for fractures.Cardiovascular issues
A lifetime of fatty foods and a sedentary lifestyle can cause plaque to develop in the arteries. This narrowing of the arteries forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. The ultimate result of this additional stress on the body can be hypertension, heart disease or stroke.

Brain functions




Memory loss, forgetfulness and slow reflexes often accompany old age. Medications necessary for controlling various physical ailments can often take a toll on brain functions by causing drowsiness or confusion. Deteriorating brain cells can add to the problem. Neurological concerns can range from simple forgetfulness to life threatening diseases such as brain tumors or Alzheimer's disease.

Depression




Older individuals often face unsettling issues with loss of independence, health concerns, financial problems and coping with the passing of lifetime friends and family members. All of these negative elements can lead to sadness or depression if left unchecked.




Thanks to advances in technology and medicine, old age does not have to be one long, downward spiral towards death. While there are many health problems common to the senior citizen, there are also a variety of methods for providing relief that can allow for a long and happy older stage of life.



1 comment:

Victoria said...

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