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5 Health Conditions to Watch for As You Age

November 14, 2014

Everyone hopes that they age gracefully and live out their golden years with relatively few health problems, but there are still a few health conditions that affect many people as they get older. Here are just a handful of conditions to look out for as you start to approach old age.

Osteoporosis

As you get older, your body will begin to absorb old bone tissue faster than it can be created. This can lead to a condition known as osteoporosis, in which your bones become very fragile. Patients with osteoporosis may suffer fractures from seemingly minor falls or even during everyday movements.

Osteoporosis has no obvious symptoms, but it can be detected with a dual x-ray absorptiometry scan, otherwise known as a DEXA scan. Ask your doctor about performing this test if you believe osteoporosis could be an issue with you.

Macular Degeneration

Vision problems are generally seen as a part of growing older, but macular degeneration is possibly the most severe of these issues. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine details, begins to break down. The most obvious symptom of macular degeneration is blurred vision, but eventually patients have trouble reading and recognizing faces.

It is estimated that 30 percent of people over the age of 75 will develop macular degeneration, so make sure you see your eye doctor regularly to catch it before it becomes a serious problem.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is another problem commonly associated with old age. The two most common forms of hearing loss in the elderly is presbycusis and noise-induced hearing loss. Presbycusis is characterized by a decreased ability to hear high-pitched sounds, while noise-induced hearing loss is caused by the exposure to loud noises over a period of several years.

Most people who lose their hearing lose the ability to hear high-frequency sounds first. If you find it difficult to hear hard consonants, like an "s" sound or the voices of women and children, you could be experiencing the first stages of hearing loss. Speak to your doctor about scheduling regular hearing tests to detect any hearing loss you may be experiencing.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a serious condition that can rob you of the ability to think clearly and remember facts. In severe cases, people are left unable to perform basic tasks without assistance. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that is irreversible. Researchers estimate that the disease affects between 2.4 and 4.5 million people across the country. Most people with Alzheimer's disease are over the age of 60, so speak to your doctor if you've had major lapses in memory that have you concerned. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease may be able to benefit from a senior living community offering memory care services.

Arthritis

Arthritis affects roughly one in every six Americans, making it a fairly common condition associated with old age. The most common form of this condition is osteoarthritis, which is caused by a lifetime of wear and tear on the body's joints, particularly in the fingers, wrists, hips, knees and spine. Arthritis is painful and can be debilitating, but there are several treatments available. Ask your doctor which ones could be best for you.

Although there are many diseases and conditions that are associated with aging, modern medicine has made many of them easier to treat than ever before. Senior living facilities can provide treatment and around-the-clock assistance for these and other conditions. Discover how senior living communities can bring ease to your everyday life by contacting Concordia Lutheran Ministries. With nearly a dozen locations throughout Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, each Concordia location remains true to helping seniors live in the most comfortable and safest manner. Our hard work shines through in everything we do. Contact us today and discover how a Concordia senior living community can change your life

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