With age comes wisdom. However, with age also come ailments and diseases. These ailments are called geriatric diseases or geriatric syndromes. Geriatric syndromes are medical ailments common to most older adults. These medical problems are often related to one another and may have more than one cause. Some are relatively minor unless they are present simultaneously and contribute to one another, which results to geriatric care becoming more complicated. Some are major ailments and are more difficult to cure or manage.
Minor Ailments of Older Adults
Some of the most common medical problems that come with old age are hearing and vision problems. Hearing loss is the most common, with one-third of 65-74-year-old Americans suffering from it. Vision problems include cataracts, glaucoma, and near-sightedness. This is especially dangerous as vision degeneration may lead to accidental falls and stumbles. Urinary incontinence is also a common ailment which can be ascribed to causes like urinary tract infection, an overactive bladder muscle, diabetes, and medication side effects. To avoid accidents, adult diapers may be bought online, or in any major drugstore or supermarket. Some older adults also experience sleeping problems including insomnia and sleep apnea. Some factors affecting sleep may include anxiety, stress, certain medications, and dementia. It is best to have the symptoms checked to be able to diagnose the cause properly. Another common ailment is arthritis. This medical condition affects the joints of the body, causing pain and discomfort.
Some geriatric diseases are more serious than others. One of the more debilitating ones is dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. It causes severe memory loss and affects the cognitive function of older adults. It can lead to further symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, as well as depression and sudden emotional outbursts. Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells of the body leading to loss of muscle control. It is a neurological disorder present in older adults ages 60 and above.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Some of the most common heart diseases are cardiac arrest, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, and high blood pressure. Cancers are prevalent in older people, with over 1.5 million cases each year being reported. Cancer affects several parts of the body, leading to different variations including lung cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer, among a hundred others. It is disease which affects the cells of the body and causes them to grow at an abnormally fast rate and invade all the other parts of the body. Diabetes presents as abnormally high glucose levels in the blood caused by improper use or secretion of insulin, a vital hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin is useful in converting sugar into energy. There are three types of diabetes. Most patients with diabetes develop Diabetes Type 2 with symptoms such as wounds that heal slowly, blurred vision, frequent urination, and weight loss.
As with any ailment or disease, it is best to consult the doctor as soon as the symptoms are present. Prevention is always better than cure. A healthy lifestyle can help avoid these difficulties in later life.
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