BLOG 236 AGE COMPLAINTS
“I’m getting old”, is a common phrase we use to associate aches, pains, and ailments with. Blame it on age. Degeneration, slowing down, and parts not operating like they once used to, all come with age. Most of these issues are normal and are common culprits. Some are preventable through lifestyle, while others just happen in the “golden years”. The senior population is growing and by 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65 years. Women’s average lifespan is over 80 years and men 75 years. Just because people are living longer doesn’t mean these ailments are going away. Keeping one’s bones, belly, and brain in tip-top shape is very important. Here are some common complaints:
1. Osteoporosis: Bones tend to become thinner and weaker with age. The bones can become fragile and easily break. Breaks become more susceptible with falls and sometimes even every day movements. As we age, the body absorbs old bone tissue faster than new bone can be created.
2. Vision loss: Macular degeneration and glaucoma are common. The part of the eye that allows us to see detail, degenerates over time. The risk for macular degeneration increases 30% after age 75. Glaucoma is due to fluid pressure in the eye. This causes loss of peripheral and direct vision.
3. Hearing loss: About 43% of people age 75 and older have some degree of hearing loss. This is usually the loss of high pitch noises. Eventually is can be the loss of any type of noise.
4. Bathroom problems: Constipation can be common with age with about 26% of women and 16% of men having this issue over the age of 65. This can be due to less physical activity, dehydration, and less fiber. Women can also have urinary incontinence. The pelvic muscles have lost their strength. Men can have this problem due to an enlarged prostate.
5. Cognitive impairment: Becoming forgetful or confused is commonplace, but as this progresses concerns may arise. Alzheimer’s can develop and can cause irreversible brain damage.
6. Arthritis: About 1/3 of people over the age of 65 have this. The fluid and cartilage in our joints does wear out. This can cause pain and is common in the hips, knees, wrists, spine, and fingers.
7. Balance issues: About 40% of older Americans have balance issues. This can be from dizziness, medications, or other medical conditions.
8. Heart disease: The heart ages with you and this causes it to work harder. This can lead to heart related problems such as heart attack and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in persons over age 65. Healthy lifestyle can help reduce this risk.
9. Flu/Pneumonia: The immune system becomes weaker with age. Complications from the flu can result in pneumonia. 71-85% of flu related deaths are from people over age 65.
10. Diabetes: The risk for development increases with age. Blood sugar become too high and this can cause problems for the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.