Getting older has its own disadvantages. With age, health issues creep in and begin to affect the day-to-day routine of the elderly. It is observed that the organs of the body work efficiently till the age of 60. However, as the age progresses further, bodily functions slowly decline, and visits to the doctor become inevitable.
Health Concerns in the Elderly
Elderly people are susceptible to a wide range of health problems. In older people, the numerous biological processes work below their optimum level. So, following are the elderly health issues observed after the age of 65.
With age, one may notice decline in eye function. Aging can bring undesirable changes in the eyesight. Vision problems is one of the most common elderly health issues that require urgent medical treatment to prevent further deterioration of the eye. Minor eyesight problems are often corrected by wearing spectacles. Read more on eye problems. The most common age related eye disorder is given below:
Cataracts: Also referred as clouded vision, cataracts affects the lens of the eye, thus leading to impaired vision. Cataracts is a condition in which the part of eye lens gets covered with a white film, making the lens opaque. As we all know, the lens of the eye is a transparent elastic structure that allows light to enter through it. This lights falls on the retina, that is exactly behind the lens. The light signal thus received by the retina, helps to produce clear images, which is interpreted as vision. However, as the lens becomes opaque due to formation of white film, the passage of light is obstructed, making it difficult for the person to view things clearly.
Cataracts is a progressive condition that eventually affects the entire lens. Disturbances in vision are noticed when the eye lens affects significant area of the lens. Blurred vision and sensitivity to light are some of the most common symptoms of cataracts. Fortunately cataracts can be safely cured using a surgery.
As a person ages, his ability to hear and discriminate sound diminishes. It is naturally for elderly people to be upset and anxious, as it interferes with normal communication. ‘Hard of hearing’ or partial deafness are the common complaints among the elderly. However, with the advancement in science and technology, a wide range of hearing aids are available today, to treat age related hearing loss effectively. Programmable hearing aids are the latest devices that can make understanding people easier. Keep in mind, that this is one of the health problems for seniors and elderly, that has to be addressed early to avoid complete hearing loss. Read more on hearing loss.
With increase in age, a significant decrease in bone mass or density is observed. Loss in bone density that makes the bones brittle and weak is referred as osteoporosis. It is rightly said that elderly have a higher chance of developing bone fractures. A minor fall or even coughing can put elderly in the risk zone of bone fractures. Although more common in women over 65, men too can develop osteoporosis at an early age due to inadequate calcium intake.
Wear and tear of joints with age, often manifests in the form of osteoarthritis. As we all know a joint is a place where two bones meet. In other words, the joint is a connecting point between two bones. The ends of the bones are covered with a tissue, known as cartilage. This covering of the end points of the bones prevent friction, that may occur during joint movement. However, over time the cartilage wear away. As the layer of cartilage depletes, the bones rub against each other, causing inflammation and pain in the joints. Joint problems such as morning stiffness in the elderly are warning signs of osteoarthritis. In this condition, the joints are less flexible and cause pain during normal movement. Read more on joint pain.
One can always slow down the progression of these elderly health issues, by leading a healthy lifestyle. Habits like smoking can lead to early manifestation of cataracts. Calcium deficiency in the diet can make a person prone to bone diseases. So, following a healthy diet and an exercise program can prolong and even prevent the occurrence of these elderly health issues.
Remember, an actor like Clint Eastwood who is more than 75 years old, even today, directs movies. Sounds incredible, isn’t it? Even at this age, he has ventured into film direction, which is not an easy task. He has been successful in keeping elderly health issues at bay, thanks to his healthy lifestyle, his overall health is in good shape.