Getting old comes with some perks, most notably: wisdom and store discounts. It also comes with health issues as our bodies begin to slowly deteriorate. Since no one has found the Fountain of Youth yet, aging is a simple fact of life.
One of the most prevalent medical conditions brought on by aging is hearing loss. As we age, the hair cells that facilitate hearing simply wear out. Unfortunately, the cells don’t regenerate and hearing becomes difficult. Hearing aids can often help make things sound clearer, depending on how severe the hearing loss is.
With Age Comes Wisdom, and a Whole Bunch of Medical Issues
The average life expectancy can depend on where you live, but the general global estimate is 72 years. At the age of 65, most countries consider individuals to be elderly. Aging is a surreal experience where it seems like you woke up one day and, suddenly, you’re old.
A seemingly sudden onslaught of medical issues can make that feeling even more pronounced. One day, you’re carefree, living your best life and the next day, everything hurts. That’s life in a nutshell.
While some symptoms can be a sign of a larger medical diagnosis, there are certain conditions that are typically age-related.
5 Common Health Problems Seniors Face
Aging happens because, at a certain point, our bodies can no longer regenerate the necessary cells to keep us alive. We begin to see signs of the slow, systematic breakdown of the body. The initial signs are often subtle, such as random instances of forgetfulness or difficulty standing up from a sitting position.
There isn’t a set age frame for the start of the aging process. However, around the ages of 65 to 70, most people experience at least one of these 5 common health problems.
1. Heart Disease. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, particularly in the elderly. Proper diet, exercise, and sleep can help lower the risk.
2. Arthritis. Achy joints are the most common age-related health problem. As the name suggests, degenerative arthritis is caused by the inflammation in the joints from wear and tear. Arthritis can also affect a person mentally by decreasing their enjoyment of life, thus increasing the risk of depression.
3. Hearing Loss. As mentioned above, it is extremely common for people over the age of 65 to suffer from some degree of hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness has a brief questionnaire that can help individuals determine if they should visit a hearing specialist to address their hearing issues.
4. Dementia. Age-related conditions involve mental functions as well as the physical. While dementia can be caused by other things, progressive brain cell death is seen the most in the elderly.
5. Balance. Falls are a huge contributing factor to injuries in seniors. Joint pain and muscle loss often affect balance. Even hearing loss can result in balance issues because the inner ear plays a role in our body’s balancing act.
Your Primary Care Doctor Can Help Prepare You
It’s not a foregone conclusion that every person will have one or more of the medical problems above once they get to a certain age. However, statistics show that many people will. A visit to your primary care doctor may be in order if you suspect you’re one of them.