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Most Common Diseases Of The Elderly

By Dhwani Jerajani +2 more

Let’s face it. Diseases of the elderly, no matter how much we deny, neglect the fact or just never think about it- All of us are going to age and grow old. Old age brings with it a number of degenerative diseases and healthcare issues that, though aren’t entirely preventive, can at least be better managed. The most common diseases of the elderly include the following:

1) Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, irreversible disease of the elderly, wherein the brain’s ability to remember and think clearly is affected. At its worst, it renders the patients incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks by themselves. Memory lapses are common during old age and not all indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s. Check with the doctor before you assume the worst.

2) Diminished Vision

Glaucoma and macular degeneration are the most common causes of diminished vision among the elderly. The macula is located on the centre of the retina and with its degeneration the central vision becomes blurred. In Glaucoma, on the other hand, vision loss occurs from the periphery. It is of utmost importance that the eyes are frequently checked to determine the onset of either of the disorders.

3) Osteoporosis

As one ages, the rate at which the bone tissue is synthesized by the body is much less compared to the rate at which it is absorbed by the body. This leads to deterioration of the bones, where they become weak and fragile that can break at the smallest accidents. This has no symptoms as such, so it’s crucial that the elderly get the bone density checked with a DEXA scan.

4) Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most painful and cumbersome diseases of the elderly. It occurs when the cartilage and fluid between the joints wear out. It causes the bones to scrape against each other every time there is a movement. It makes movement painful. The elderly then mostly try to avoid moving, which further aggravates rigid bones. The most common type of arthritis that plagues the elderly is osteoarthritis which affects the fingers, knees, wrist and spine. A number of treatments are now possible to manage the symptoms of Arthritis.

5) Hearing

More than half of the people aged over 60 suffer from some kind of hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss is Presbycusis. It is the reduced ability to hear high pitched sounds like those of kids and women. Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common type of hearing loss.

6) Other common disorders

The elderly generally also tend to suffer from constipation due to the malfunction of the colon. Intake of various medicines for the ailments may have a side effect on them, leading to frequent dizziness or loss of balance. Incontinence is another frequently observed problem among the aged. This is especially common in women, as the pelvic muscles lose the ability to control the bladder. In men, it is mainly the enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs due to ageing that leads to incontinence. As mentioned before, most of these diseases of the elderly aren’t preventable but the severity can definitely be managed with proper medication and more importantly a proper diet and exercise regime.Also Read: 12 Proven Health Benefits Of Makhana (Fox Nuts)Disclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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This blog is an eye opener, makes me want to sit up and take better care of my body. It is scary to know that there are so many deadly diseases out there that are just waiting for me to grow old! scarrrry.