Top 5 Ailments Affecting Seniors
Growing older affects everyone differently. Aging can also bring unique health challenges. Among the most common ailments are heart conditions, arthritis, osteoperosis, diabetes, cancer, cognitive health, and sensory impairments.
Arthritis affects about half of the elderly population. Arthritis can be caused by many things. It can come from old injuries or strain from playing sports, or being active. It can also be from wearing the wrong kind of shoes, like high heels, or shoes that are the wrong size. Arthritis in the knees is extremely common among seniors, just from walking. To avoid this, try exercising regularly as opposed to sporatically. Your weight can also contribute to arthritis and joint health. Managing a healthy weight can help you not only avoid arthritis, but also osteoperosis. Osteoperosis is another illness that affects the bones, mostly of women.
For the most part, the risk of developing cancer increases as we age. For women, the risk of getting endometrial cancer increases as they age, but the rate of cervical cancer decreases. It is important that as women age, they still attend annual exams to ensure they are still in good health. For men, the risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Men should start screenings in their 40s. Other common cancers include lung, breast, and colon. See your doctor annually, and take care of yourself.
According to the CDC, about 25% of seniors are living with diabetes. Diabetes can be treated, but it is even better to avoid it by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can find out if you have diabetes by a simple blood test at your doctor’s office. Reduce your risk of illnesses caused by diabetes, by changing parts of your lifestyle so you can maintain your health without having to deal with blood sugar tests multiple times a day.
Heart conditions affect more than one-third of men and women past their 50s. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are diseases of the heart or blood vessels. CVD is also the leading cause of death in the U.S. You can reduce your risk of CVD by leading a healthy lifestyle. Meaning, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, eat a healthy diet, and avoid smoking. Get tested for high blood pressure, and keep it under control to avoid your risk for CVD.
We all know that as we age, our hearing and sight can become impaired. This is an extremely common side effect of aging, especially in adults over 70. According to the CDC, one out of six older adults has a visual impairment, and one out of four has a hearing impairment. Both of these are easily treatable. For hearing impairments, you can wear a hearing aid, and for your eyes, glasses or contacts are common options. There are newer technologies that can help with these kind of impairments, like lasic eye surgery, for sight impairment.
To catch ailments early, prevent them, or get them treated, see your doctor. Ask them what you might be at risk for, and what changes you can make to lead a longer, and healthier life.
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