Health conditions to pay attention to as you get older

December 21, 2022

Thanks to improvements in medicine and nutrition, getting older isn’t what it used to be. As a direct result of these advancements, the average life expectancy in the U.S. has surpassed 80 years for women and 75 years for men; by 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. 

But that doesn’t mean the typical health concerns of the elderly (such as osteoporosis and dementia) disappear. In fact, it’s more crucial than ever to take care of your mental and physical health. This is why you need to learn the signs and symptoms of the most frequent health problems, so you are able to take preventative measures and respond quickly to any medical needs that arise. Read on to find out more. 


In the U.S., 52 million people over the age of 65 suffer from arthritis, making it one of the most prevalent age-related health issues. Because of the pain and inflammation it produces, movement might become limited.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most widespread forms of the disease. Osteoarthritis is often prevalent in the elderly population. The more we use our joints as we age, the more wear and tear there is on those joints, which is what can cause osteoarthritis. It is estimated that 32.5 million people in the US suffer from this form of arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly targets the protective synovial membrane of the joints.

Kidney stones 

Kidney stones can form in your urinary tract and are quite painful despite their small size. People frequently become dehydrated as they age. This, together with other risk factors, such as a change in diet, can raise your chances of forming stones in your 40s and beyond. They are more typical in men, but they can occur in women too. While kidney stones usually pass on their own, if they do not, surgery may be required to remove them. The best approach to avoid this is to stay hydrated. Changes in diet can also help avoid recurrence.

Food allergies 

Allergies to some foods are not limited to children. More and more adults are being diagnosed with food allergies. The most common offenders are shellfish and tree nuts. 

Antibiotic overuse and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can disturb the gastrointestinal environment and increase the risk of developing an allergy.

Not much can be done to prevent the onset of a new allergy, but being aware of your body’s reactions can help you determine whether you already have one. It is recommended that you see an allergist if you experience symptoms, such as trouble breathing, stomach cramping or hives after eating a certain food.

Hearing loss 

Age-related hearing loss, sometimes called presbycusis, is a common condition that affects older people. Common causes include age-related inner ear changes, middle ear variations, alterations to nerve pathways, and a few medical diseases and drugs. 

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulties hearing.

Trouble hearing can make it difficult to hear important sounds like telephones and doorbells, as well as to respond appropriately to warnings of danger. Having trouble hearing might also make it difficult to take pleasure in social interactions, increasing the risk of depression and loneliness.

There is currently no way to avoid age-related hearing loss. However, using earplugs or muffs can help mitigate the effects of loud noises. It’s always a good idea to speak to a specialist if you are experiencing hearing loss, as it could be something as simple as too much earwax, in which case please like the Northern Hearing Health Centre earwax removal can solve at least some of the problem. 

Vision loss 

Macular degeneration and glaucoma are the two most common forms of age-related eye damage. Macular degeneration is a gradual deterioration of the macula, the area of the eye responsible for central vision and sharp detail. The risk of developing macular degeneration is two per cent among people in their 50s and 30 per cent among those 75 and older.

With time, the optic nerve can become permanently damaged from glaucoma, a disorder that causes an increase in intraocular fluid pressure. At first, there are no outward signs of the condition but, with time, it can lead to a complete loss of central vision. Untreated glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss. Make sure to visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist regularly to check your eyes.


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