A Few of the Most Common Health Conditions in Seniors

aging woman with hat and glasses

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Last Updated on July 28, 2020 by

As we begin to grow older, we slowly become more vulnerable to diseases and infections with every passing year. When that downhill journey will begin for someone’s overall health is highly variable, but most of us start experiencing mild physical and cognitive deterioration once we hit our 30s and 40s respectively. 

aging woman with hat and glasses

In the case of seniors (65+), however, degradation on both accounts will become quite obvious. Aging can be made much worse if they are also suffering from one or more of the many common diseases which plague the older generations quite frequently. As the diseases themselves are a result of aging and they also further worsen the effects of aging, it is important to be aware of what they are, and how they can be avoided or managed.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness, making it absolutely imperative to get one’s eyes checked at least once a year after sixty. Risk factors increase exponentially post sixty, and the scariest thing about glaucoma is that its signs are not always there so as to be detected without a check-up.

People can lose their side vision almost completely due to open-angle glaucoma, before even realizing that there is something wrong with their eyes. At other times, seniors would just ignore the vision loss caused by glaucoma as a natural part of aging. In the case of acute-angle glaucoma though, the signs as described below, will almost certainly be there:

  • Blinding headaches, especially after straining the eyes (reading, watching TV, working on the computer, etc.)
  • Direct and acute pain inside and behind the eyes
  • Nausea, blurry vision and vomiting tendencies
  • Red eyes
  • Circle of light (halo) around a source of light such as a bulb or a tube

If there is a history of glaucoma in the family, then it could be inherited genetically, but that is not the only cause since eye trauma of any kind can also lead to it. Even seniors without a history of glaucoma in the family could develop glaucoma because they might be completely unaware of the fact that there was indeed someone with glaucoma in their family.

Given that glaucoma is a direct result of intraocular pressure, which is formed when there is an unreleased build-up of aqueous humor, releasing excess fluid through the trabecular meshwork is somewhat achievable by:

  • Moderate exercising
  • Managing hypertension with prescribed medication
  • Attending regular check-ups at the ophthalmologist’s clinic

Dementia and Other Forms of Cognitive Decline

Dementia is not as much a disease itself, as it is a symptom of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Nevertheless, dementia is the worst cognitive effect that a senior can experience since it leads to temporary or complete loss of even the most basic of memories. They might not be able to even remember their own name or date of birth records for long periods of time, which further complicates things. If there is a senior parent/grandparent in your home who is suffering from dementia and cannot remember important details regarding their own life, the doctors will find it quite difficult to administer and manage their prescriptions effectively.

Age is a huge factor to consider while writing prescriptions, which would be impossible to determine if the senior cannot even remember their own date of birth. Fortunately, there is a viable solution to the problem, as long as you just know his/her name. Visit the Public Records Reviews website, enter the name, and find the records online. That is really how easy it is to get access to public information such as date of birth records, court records, assets records, and more on Public Records reviews. Dementia can make seniors forget about their assets completely, which is once again another area where a simple name search is enough to reveal all publicly registered properties.

Osteoarthritis (Age Induced)

Age induced arthritis is one of those conditions which are unavoidable because it results from natural bone loss, muscle loss, weakening nerves, and above all else, cartilage loss. All of these effects contribute to the development of osteoarthritis, which can affect older generations at different stages of their lives.

The intensity of the disease will vary depending on factors such as lifestyle, life history, genetics etc. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent osteoarthritis after a certain age, but we can slow down the degradation and manage pain better by:

  • Keeping our body weight within the healthy range to reduce joint pressure and grinding, which causes cartilage loss and pain
  • Maintaining a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D; supplementation is also an option
  • Reducing cardiovascular activities to reduce pressure on the joints
  • Replacing the cardio with strength training and HIIT sessions of short bursts

It is indeed possible to push back age-related deteriorations by at least a decade if the precautions necessary are taken from an early age. Excepting individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or devastating developments like cancer, study shows that seniors who start exercising before or after their 30s stay both mentally and physically fitter than their peers who do not. Coupled with balanced meals and regular clinical check-ups, even 70+ seniors can lead a healthy and active life.