Staying Healthy Over 60: 9 Top Medical Concerns for Seniors

Did you know that seniors are hospitalized three times as often as younger populations?

This isn’t surprising—after all, the body becomes more susceptible to illness with age.

Why? The immune system weakens; we are less able to fight against infections.

Considering this, it’s not surprising to know that there are a number of medical concerns that are common among the elderly.

Want to know what they are? Be sure to read the rest of the post!

9 Medical Concerns That Are Commonly Seen in Those over 60

It might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of these conditions. That way you’ll know what to watch out for.

1. Cataracts

Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of your eyes—the structure that is responsible for refracting light—becomes cloudy.

This occurs when protein clumps up and clouds the lens. As a result, less light reaches the retina, which can reduce vision.

Most cataracts are associated with aging. In fact, more than half of all Americans will have a cataract by age 80.

Can cataracts come back after surgery? The answer is no. The entire lens will be removed by the physician during the procedure.

However, it’s not uncommon for some people to experience cloudiness again due to the thickening of the lens capsule.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints. Depending on the type, it can affect one or several joints.

The most common symptoms include stiffness, swelling, and joint pain; redness around the joints is also common.

In some cases, it can also reduce an individual’s range of motion.

According to the CDC, nearly half of those over the age of 65 in the U.S. have arthritis. It can also develop in teens and young adults.

Fortunately, there are several medications that are effective at relieving inflammation and pain.

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis happens when bone breaks down faster than it is made. As a result, it becomes brittle, which increases the risk of fractures.

One of the main causes is a decline in hormone levels—estrogen in women and androgen in men, both of which help to regulate bone density.

Due to the fact that it develops slowly, an individual might not be aware that they have it until they experience a fall. Commonly affected areas include the hip, spine, and wrist.

4. Hypertension

Hypertension refers to high blood pressure. Essentially, what this means is that the pressure inside your arteries is higher than what it’s supposed to be.

Not only can this damage your blood vessels, but it can cause a stroke, heart attack, or other health issues. For instance, it can harm your kidney.

More often than not, there will be no noticeable symptoms. For this reason, it is often called the “silent killer.”

Because of this, it is vital that you check your blood pressure on a regular basis.

5. Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes an increase in blood glucose.

In a healthy individual, insulin production is tightly regulated—this allows the body to balance the sugar levels in the blood.

To be more specific, the hormone allows glucose to move into the cells for energy.

With diabetes, however, the body does not produce enough insulin or it is unable to use it effectively. As a result, blood sugar levels go up, which can damage the internal organs.

It’s estimated that more than one-fourth of the U.S. population aged 65 or older is living with diabetes.

6. Obesity

Obesity is a chronic disease in which an individual has an excessive amount of body fat.

It can lead to many health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can impact on our quality of life.

Seniors are typically at a higher risk due to the fact that they aren’t as mobile or active as their younger counterparts.

Treatment often consists of exercise and dietary changes. In some cases, weight-loss medications or surgery may be necessary.

7. Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that affects the roots of the nerves.

Symptoms often include a tingling or stinging sensation, fever, headache, and nausea. Nine times out of ten, there will also be a rash on just one side of the body.

While it can occur in young people, it is especially prevalent in the elderly population. They are also much more likely to experience complications such as pneumonia or vision loss.

8. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a complex disease that results in damage to the optic nerve. More often than not, it is due to the buildup of pressure inside the eye.

Over time, the pressure can destroy the optic nerve tissue, which can lead to vision loss. It is one of the main causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.

Unfortunately, there are no obvious symptoms in the early stages. Some people, however, may experience severe eye pain, redness in the eye, or blurred vision.

9. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.

It causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with pus or fluid, which can make it difficult to breathe. Other symptoms include coughing, chest pain, chills, and fever.

While anyone can get pneumonia, those above the age of 65 are at the highest risk. In fact, it is the fourth most common cause of death in the elderly.

Staying Healthy

As you can see, there are a number of medical concerns that are associated with aging. Fortunately, many of them are preventable.

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