By the STI HIV RIO Team
Over the past few years, advances in health care have improved the lifespan of many people all over the world and helped them live longer now than ever before.
It is becoming much easier to deal with these health problems and the elderly are well-prepared to manage them on a daily basis.
Therefore, it is necessary that we should have some knowledge about the most widespread medical conditions in older people so that we can handle them well if diagnosed.
Here are top 5 most common health issues facing senior people today:
Older people are more prone to developing diabetes due to major changes that happen when their bodies get aged.
In fact, diabetes is a lifelong disease, which is caused when your pancreas does not produce enough amount of insulin.
Diabetes might be identified and prevented early with a simple blood test for measuring the levels of sugar in your blood.
The sooner you are aware that you are at risk of this health issue, the sooner you could start making some modifications to control it and improve the long-term health outlook in senior years.
There are many changes in your diet and lifestyle that can help avoid this health issue, including:
Arthritis is basically the breakdown of tissues in the joints, leading to inflammation, pain, restricted movement and weakness within the affected areas.
It is a very common medical condition, happening in people of all ages, especially older citizens.
There are 2 main kinds of arthritis: rheumatoid and osteoarthritis arthritis.
The latter type is most common in senior people because it is often triggered by wear and tear that is resulted from the use of our joints during the lifetime.
It is quite easy to notice the development of this health condition with some signs such as inflammation around and in the joints, restricted movements in the joints, and stiffness, tenderness, pain in the joints.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for this health issue, but there are some available treatments such as corticosteroids and painkillers, which might help slow down the problem.
Though arthritis might discourage you from doing some activities, it is advisable to work with your healthcare provider to create a personal activity schedule that, along with other treatments, can help keep your senior health.
As a respiratory condition, chronic bronchitis is mainly caused by an infection that inflames and irritates the bronchi in your lungs, leading to the overproduction of mucus.
Under the effect of this health issue, your body will try to shift the excess mucus by coughing.
Therefore, chronic bronchitis will make you cough more frequently for an extended period of time.
The condition can be trigger by either a bacteria or virus, which is similar to the cause of flu and colds, making it quite challenging to differentiate during the diagnosis.
Basically, you can look out for some common signs of chronic bronchitis such as fatigue, headaches, sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, pains and aches in your chest.
If diagnosed with this health issue, the most important thing that you need to do is to quit smoking.
Cigarettes can only make the problem worse and it might take longer to treat.
In addition, you should also ensure that you are having a healthy and balanced diet to help avoid the infections in lungs.
During the effects of chronic bronchitis, make sure to drink a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration, take plenty of rest, and take ibuprofen or paracetamol to treat a headache.
Cancer is a condition where the body cells abnormally replicate and cause a deadly tumor in some parts of the body.
These abnormal cells can multiply and cause the tumor to grow quickly and spread to other areas through the bloodstream.
It is estimated that cancer is the second leading cause of death amongst people over the age of 65, and a third of the world population would suffer from this medical condition at some points in their lives.
There are more than 200 strains of cancer, such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, which can be diagnosed early through screening like colonoscopies, mammograms, and skin checks.
Although it is not always able to prevent this health issue, you can improve the quality of life as an older people coping with cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and working with your doctor.
Some symptoms that you can look for in cancer condition include an unexpected lump, a sudden weight loss, unexplained blood in the urine, stool when vomiting or coughing.
The survival rate of cancer is much lower for senior people, thus it is important to identify these symptoms early and begin the treatments as soon as possible.
Asthma happens when the airways in your body are sensitive to some common allergens in the environment and get inflamed.
This inflammation might result in a frightening and painful attack, which makes the airway muscles narrow and tighten so you can find it difficult to breathe normally.
Older people are more prone to asthma and this medical condition can worsen when they have the flu or cold.
There are 3 common signs of asthma that you can notice: coughing, a tight feeling in the chest, and regularly being out of breath.
Since asthma might be disruptive to the life of a person and become a life-threatening issue, make sure to treat it properly by working closely with your doctor.
When we get older, we always expect that our lives would become easier.
We hope retirement as the period when we can finally have much time and relax with family.
However, there are always concerns, and health issues are one of them.
Senior people have to overcome many challenges which are common to all ages as well as some problems that are naturally specific to their age group.
Therefore, be prepared and understand these health issues can be the best way to prevent and live a healthy life.