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Health Challenges Common in Old Age

Although aging is inevitable, it’s not without its associated health risks. According to the CDC’s 2019 report, 1 out of 3 senior citizens experiences ill health every year. Undoubtedly, as the body ages, organs and normal bodily processes slow down, deteriorate or lose their ability to perform as expected. That said, why are some illnesses and injuries more common in old age? You may read on to find some health challenges that older adults may face.

Elderly man and woman standing together and paddling at the beach.

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Need for surgery

One of the biggest factors that should be considered if there is a need for surgery is whether a local or general anesthetic is needed. The good news is that neither are dangerous when you are in the hands of a trained professional. Experts such as Dr Anthony Singh on LinkedIn can provide you with all the information you need on general anaesthetic and what you need to be aware of before you commit to a surgical procedure. You just need to know that the recovery period is a little different if you need to be asleep for the procedure. You may need a short hospital stay. 

Hearing loss or impairment 

According to seniorliving.org, when people attain age fifty-five, they begin to enter the social demographic parameters for senior citizens. However, it is only upon reaching sixty-five years, and beyond that, a person can be fully described as such. Also, the human ears, just like any other organ, tend to work well until they begin to show signs of degeneration. This deterioration usually happens due to a change in the tiny hair cells contained in the inner ear. 

 Unfortunately, hair cells in the inner ear don’t regenerate once they get damaged. Although hearing loss in old age may have been brought about by other medical conditions such as stroke or Alzheimer’s, the CDC also links more than 50% of hearing loss cases to aging. Therefore, when seniors get diagnosed with varying degrees of this condition, the most common management is with hearing aids to improve their quality of life.

So, you might want to look into signing up with a hearing expert. Choosing a hearing care expert is now easier than ever, thanks to the rise of online providers. 

Vision problems

In December 2020, the American Foundation for the Blind released the following statistics regarding vision deterioration in the country. Among seniors aged seventy-five and above, there is a 15.2% prevalence of vision disorders. Meanwhile, for persons aged between sixty-five and seventy-four, the prevalence rate is 12.2%. Lastly, about 12% of sixty and sixty-four-year-olds are already dealing with problems with their sight. 

These statistics give detailed insight into how vision deterioration spreads across different demographics in the country. Sight problems are common among senior citizens due to gradual damage to the optic nerve. Moreover, as the body ages, the lens loses its previous ability to see sharply. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better if you are a senior citizen with this insulin resistance condition. While vision-related problems can be genetic, aging puts you more at risk once you inherit these genes.

 Heart disease

Normal aging, regardless of a pre-existing medical condition, causes the blood and heart vessels to thicken. It explains why coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and cardiac arrests are common among sixty-five years and above. Additionally, the Heart Foundation says older males tend to experience heart problems more than their female counterparts.

 The statistics indicate that 69.1% of aging men have medical conditions with their hearts, while the opposite gender represents 67.9%. However, certain lifestyles increase your risk of developing heart conditions. For example, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and substance abuse increase the chances of developing cardiovascular issues later in life.

 Fortunately, technological advancement is rapidly improving senior citizens’ quality of life. Moreover, older adults exercise and are more conscious of their diet than what prevailed a decade ago. Hopefully, you’ll pay attention to these conditions and others for a healthier aging process.