It is no secret that our health tends to suffer somewhat as we get older. Our muscles and eyesight weaken, and our balance deteriorates. These things are part of life, but not every ache and pain is a result of aging. Some conditions are symptomatic of more serious health issues. Being aware of the common health conditions associated with getting older will help you recognize the difference between expected changes and more serious ailments.
Muscle pain every now and then is natural, especially after doing physical activity. But chronic pain centered around the joints, ankles, and fingers may be due to arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the cartilage between the joints, causing inflammation and pain.
There are a few ways to manage arthritis pain. Medication is helpful, but for those who cannot take pain medications, a TENS treatment may offer a viable alternative. Eating foods with anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-3, vitamin C, and antioxidants may also be beneficial.
A loss of muscular strength can make it difficult for seniors to effectively clear their lungs. This, combined with a weakened immune system, leaves seniors more prone to a number of respiratory issues, including:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Respiratory Tract Infection
Standard hygiene practices such as washing your hands and staying up to date on vaccinations are easy ways to prevent respiratory issues. Exercising regularly can also help strengthen these muscles and open up airways.
Heart disease is one of the most common health conditions associated with getting older, and it causes the death of more adults older age 65 than cancer, respiratory disease, or stroke. This makes sense when one considers many of the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A stationary lifestyle
These risk factors are especially prevalent in older adults. Practicing a healthy lifestyle—eating a balanced diet, exercising, and managing stress—is the best way to keep healthy.
Most seniors deal with some level of mental decline as they age, which may manifest as forgetfulness. As many as one out of every nine adults over 65 experience a condition that is outside this normal declination. Alzheimer’s disease attacks one’s brain cells, leading to cognitive and physical decline and ultimately resulting in death.
Unfortunately, there is no cure, though some experimental therapies are proving effective in slowing Alzheimer’s progression. However, living a healthy lifestyle may reduce one’s chances of contracting this disease.