As we get older, we can begin to experience a range of physical and mental health problems. Cardiovascular issues, limited mobility, joint pains, and dementia are just a few of the most common health problems that seniors face today.
While a decline in health is the reality for many seniors, it isn’t inevitable. The development of modern-day medicine has provided solutions to a wide range of health conditions that were once untreatable.
If you’re approaching senior age or you’re well into your seventies or eighties, it’s important to take good care of your body. Medications and therapies can only do so much. Following a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of developing almost every chronic disease and keep you healthy inside and out.
It’s also important to stay educated on the most common health conditions that older adults experience. Certain conditions are more likely to appear later on in life. Knowing the key signs of each one means that you can get the help and treatment that you need to minimize the negative long-term effects on your health.
Here are some of the most common health problems in seniors.
As you get older, there is a decrease in the volume and function of the lungs, which makes them more prone to respiratory and pulmonary disease. The muscles that support the lungs can begin to atrophy (break down) and this lowers respiratory efficiency.
Reduced lung function can limit the clearance of particles from the lungs and increase the risk of infections, which not only affects the lungs but can impact the whole body. Chronic lung diseases include asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and bronchiectasis.
If you suffer from a chronic lung health condition, your healthcare provider may offer a portable oxygen concentrator. This device can improve a range of symptoms, including breathlessness, fatigue, and coughing.
Arthritis is one of the common health conditions that impact older adults and affects up to half of the senior population It refers to a group of more than 100 different kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
If you suffer from arthritis, you might experience stiffness, swelling, and pain around your joints. Your symptoms may range from mild to severe.
There are medications that you can take to relieve your pain and reduce inflammation. I’m severe cases, your doctor may offer joint injections, including hyaluronic acid and micro fragmented adipose injections.
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. As you age, your bone mineral density (BMD) decreases, which causes your bones to become brittle and more prone to breakages. It can also impact posture, causing you to stoop forward.
Osteoporosis is preceded by osteopenia. It’s a chronic condition that is incurable. It most commonly affects the spine, hips, and knees but may occur in other areas of the body.
To lower your risk of osteoporosis, exercise regularly and try to incorporate some strength training into your routine. Stronger muscles can encourage stronger bones!
You should also focus on consuming plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous in your diet. Each of these micronutrients is required for healthy bone turnover. Your doctor might prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements if you’re struggling to include them in your diet.
Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontal disease, can affect people of all ages but it’s especially prevalent in the older population. Many seniors get crowns or veneers fitted to replace their natural teeth.
Older adults can experience receding gums and dry mouth caused by a reduction in saliva production. Certain medications can also cause dry mouth, which may increase the risk of halitosis and gum disease. There is also an increased risk of mouth cancer in older age, which can several impact oral health.
Following a great oral hygiene routine can reduce the risk of gum disease. Your oral health routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and getting regular checks at the dentist.
Hypertension is the medical name for high blood pressure. Symptoms of chronic hypertension include headaches, irregular heartbeat, and chest pains. Long-term hypertension can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, and kidney disease.
You can keep your blood pressure within the optimal range by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.