Most people get terrified of growing old. They believe it is a sign of weakness or becoming less capable as they age.
But what if the signs of aging were communicating with them about their health? Some medical conditions may develop with age and may be difficult to detect until too late. So, what are some of the conditions that may arise due to getting older?
Cataracts and Refractive Errors
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts are the most common eye condition associated with advancing age. The cloudy areas in your lenses gradually become opaque, making it difficult to see.
Cataracts, if left untreated, can result in blindness. Do not allow this to happen! Get regular eye exams at least once a year for the rest of your life. Wherever you are, whether you need cataract surgery in Las Vegas or eye treatment in Denver, you can find qualified professionals to help in any area.
If you’re over 40, consult your optometrist about wearing UV-blocking sunglasses outside. Wear sun protection in direct sunlight, whether from the sun’s rays or artificial light sources such as tanning beds. Refractive errors such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism also impact vision, but only if you leave it untreated.
Dementia is a condition that gradually robs people of their mental abilities and memory, leaving them unable to perform even simple tasks.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, symptoms include confusion and disorientation, mood swings and aggression, anxiety or fearfulness, changes in personality and behavior, depression, and long-term memory loss.
According to Harvard Medical School, this disease was once known as “old people’s disease” because it primarily affects people over 65.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP), also known as hypertension, is a serious condition in which your heart has to work much harder than usual to maintain your blood pressure. Hypertension is the medical term for the condition.
Because high blood pressure has no symptoms, it is even more dangerous because you may not realize you have it until your doctor tells you. High blood pressure, if left untreated, can harm your heart and increase your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
According to WebMD, osteoporosis occurs when bone mass decreases. This causes the bones to become weaker and thinner than normal to compensate for the density loss.
Fractures are more likely in people with osteoporosis, particularly in the hip, spine, or wrist. The estimation is that 10 million Americans already have osteoporosis due to genetics, diet, and lifestyle factors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States, trailing only breast and prostate cancer.
The expectation is that over 95,000 new cases of colon cancer will get diagnosed in 2018, with over 40,000 people dying from the disease. Colon cancer frequently exhibits no symptoms until it is too late. That’s why, if you’re 50 or older, you should get screened for colorectal cancer regularly.
If your BMI exceeds 30, medical standards consider you obese. Obesity can cause several health issues, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis. Obesity affects nearly 78 million adults in the United States, and the number is only going to rise if something isn’t done about it.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in the United States, impacting nearly 50 million people (NIDCD).
That equates to roughly one out of every six people. A variety of factors can contribute to hearing loss, including age, noise exposure, genetics, infections, and medications. It’s critical to have your hearing checked regularly, especially if you suspect you have some hearing loss.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to progressive lung diseases that make breathing difficult. Chronic bronchitis, an inflammation of the airways leading to the lungs, is the most common type of COPD. Emphysema and asthma are two other types of COPD.
COPD has no cure and no effective treatment for reversing the damage that has already occurred. That is why it is critical to see your doctor if you suspect you have COPD and begin treatment as soon as possible.
While some health conditions are unavoidable due to aging, there are many things you can do to prevent or postpone their onset. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption to stay healthy.
Get regular screening for preventable diseases, such as colon cancer or osteoporosis. Get screened for hearing loss if you’re 50 or older.