Common Diseases in Old Age
Old age is the most common and real truth for all the human beings which come true a day in everyone’s life once. Age related health problems which can be said old age diseases are the complications of aging process which can never be stopped however; it can be slow down through the proper care of the body, active life style and healthy diet. Some of the age related diseases are atherosclerosis, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, kidney infections, cancer, osteoporosis, cataracts, type-2 diabetes, memory loss, hypertension, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and etc. The frequency of occurrence of such diseases increases with the age of the person.
Occurrence of such old age disease are more common among those senior citizens across the globe who are less active and generally not getting proper care and diet throughout their life. List of some old age health problems are mentioned below:
Alzheimer’s disease is a common brain disorder causes mental deterioration and affects the brain part controlling the memory. People who are generally affected by this disease get problem to their emotional, intellectual and behavioral capabilities of the body. As person grows older, the possibility of this disease increases around 1:20 after age of 60 and 1:5 after age of 80. No one knows why it happens, but it occurs when cells in the brain start dying.
Parkinson’s disease is also a common and chronic old age brain problem lead to the neurological disorder which affects the brain nerve cells controlling muscle movements. It is caused due to the basal ganglia degeneration found in brain and dopamine deficiency (a neurotransmitter). It develops symptoms of tremor, loose movement, muscular rigidity and etc. It is associated with.
People during old age may develop some other problems like brain shrinkage, dementia and atrophy among people with Mild Cognitive Impairment during which people get affected from the memory loss and forgetfulness.
The possibility of mental illness is increases according to the age because of the depression, anxiety, irritability, sadness, dementia, inability to concentrate, confusion, schizophrenia and etc. Some other reasons of mental illnesses are loss of memory, suicidal thoughts, lack of proper sleep, fatigue, lethargy and etc.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is the most common old age problem caused due to the excess pressure of blood against blood vessel walls means arteries. Blood pressure measurement increases from the normal value of 120/80 mmHg. It is called as the silent killer as it increases day by day if not controlled and lead to the death without any clear symptoms. It also affects some other important organs of the body such as kidney, heart, eyes, and etc. It generates symptoms of drowsiness, headache, confusion, nausea, loss of vision or blurred vision.
Heart Disorders and Heart Attack
During old age heart gets enlarged and has tendency to decrease its pumping action which causes blood vessels less flexible and elastic which in turn causes swelling of feet, hypertension and then heart failure. Heart diseases or heart attack occurs due to the lack of supply of oxygen rich blood to the heart or a blood clot in the coronary arteries which blocks the normal blood supply to the heart. Generally it occurs due to the unhealthy eating habits, anxiety, stress, lack of physical exercises and proper sleep.
Stroke is also the major old age problem which occurs due to lack of proper supply of the oxygenated blood and glucose to the brain which causes death of the brain cells. Sometimes it is also referred as the cardiovascular accident which causes brain attack and lead to the loss of brain functioning. It is caused due to the interruption of the blood supply to the brain or rupture of the blood vessel supplying blood to the brain.
Generally it occurs in two types such as ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic type stroke is caused due to the sudden block of blood supply to the brain which lead to the brain damage and paralysis of body at one side. Hemorrhagic type stroke is caused due to the sudden rupture of the artery supplying blood to the brain which leads o the brain hemorrhage and hemi paralysis means loss of functions of half body.
Sometimes ageing occurs in early stages of life however, it becomes fast during old age due to the inability of people to combat with harmful effects of free radicals. It may attack due to the lack of antioxidants, vitamin E and strength of immunity. The symptoms of ageing are wrinkled skin, loss of hair, baldness and etc. It can be reduced by maintaining a healthy life style from starting of age.
People during old age are more vulnerable to the cancer due to the sedentary life style, lack of proper diet, lack of happiness, increased level of stress and so many. Among old age men cancer of the prostate gland and colon is more common however among women cancer of breast is more common. Some more type of cancers which can occur during old age are skin, pancreas, lung, bladder, rectum, intestinal, stomach, blood cancer and etc.
Diabetes is also an old age health disorder commonly caused due to the metabolic disorders which lead to the high level of blood sugar. It affects the natural ability of body to produce insulin or respond to the insulin. It causes common symptoms of excessive thirst, increased frequency of urination, inability to get prevented from infections, increased feeling of hunger, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, loss of memory and etc. Generally it occurs due to lack of physical activities, proper diet, stress, anxiety and hormonal imbalance.
It is the disorder arises when body lose its normal capability to use glucose absorbed from the food it digests. In type-2 diabetes body produces sufficient insulin however acquire strong resistance to it and body becomes unable to process glucose throughout the body. It arises some new and chronic health problems like heart attack, kidney disorder, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness, obesity and etc.
Old age people are more prone to the obesity (a condition of overweight) which lead to some other chronic disorders such as heart diseases, type-2 diabetes, apnea (loss of sleep), cancer, osteoarthritis and etc. Obesity among old age people has been found to reduce the life expectancy as well as increased risk of physical and mental conditions. It occurs due to the lack of mobility, hypertension, diabetic, unhealthy eating and etc.
BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostates hypertrophy) is the most common type of old age problem among men which is generally described as the prostate gland enlargement due to the functional imbalance. It causes common symptoms of problems during urination, interrupted urination, weak stream urgency, leaking or dribbling of urine (incontinence), bladder or kidney damage, urge of frequent urination, bladder stones, urinary tract infections, and etc according to the condition. It may lead to the medical condition like acute urinary retention.
Osteoporosis is the common condition of weak bone (due to lack of bone strength and proper bone density) during old age which causes bones (of hip, wrist, back bone ) to break easily and lead to the pain, back pain, disability, deformity, loss of independence and feeling of well being. It occurs due to the lack of physical activity, overweight, hormonal changes, metabolic problems like hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, vitamin D and calcium deficiency, stress and anxiety.
Arthritis is the most common problem of the old age which causes inflammation, swelling, redness, pain and stiffness of the joints which lead to the limited joints movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also a joint problem in which synovial joints lining get inflamed. Commonly it affects the peripheral joints like hands, fingers and toes and cause functional disability and pain.
It is the most common type of arthritis which varies from mild to very severe conditions. It causes breakdown of the joints cartilages and affect bones to a great extent. It may lead to the permanent damage of the bone when they rub each other.
The cause of gout during old age is the excess accumulation of uric acid in some joints which lead to the severe pain, warmth, tenderness, swelling, redness to the joints region especially to the big toe. It occurs due to the lack of physical exercises and healthy diet.
Common eye problems during old age are blurred vision, cataract, age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, blindness, retinal diseases and etc. Sometimes eye disorders occurs during old age are complications of other health disorders such as diabetes, heart problem, kidney disorders and etc.
Skin problem is the most common type problem during old age as it loses its elasticity as age grows and becomes dry, inelastic and wrinkled which cause itching and scratching and then mechanical injury and bacterial infections. Skin problem during old age may occur due to the lack of diet rich in antioxidants, protein and vitamins thus skin loses it capacity to fight with skin damage due to UV rays, free radicals and ageing.
Injury is the most possible health problem during old age due to the lack of proper vision, hearing, bone and muscle strength, and etc. A common injury may lead to some big health issues of heart, brain, fracture and loss of confidence and well being. The reason of injury may be slippery surface, loss of stability and balance, carelessness, weak bone and body.
Kidney diseases or disorders are more common during old age due to the inability of natural functioning of the kidneys. It may be hereditary, physiological, congenital or acquired. It may be chronic or acute type according to the seriousness. Kidney disorders during old age lead to the kidney failure, cardiovascular problems and even death. It may be caused due to the high blood pressure, abnormal weight, inactive life style, smoking, tobacco chewing and etc.
Incontinence is the common problem occurs in old age due to the loss of bladder muscle control which causes dribbling of urine involuntarily. It may occur due to the emotional distress, kidney disorders, paralysis, benign prostates hypertrophy.
Sleeping disorders during old age lead to some serious problems like insomnia, apnea, movement disorders, loss of body balance, irritation, tension, stress, depression and etc.
Depression is a serious old age illness fall under the medical category of psychiatric disorders. It may occur due to the important loss, unnecessary life struggles, hopelessness, injured self-esteem and etc.
Hearing problem is a common health issue during old age which may be due to the problem in ear or complication of some chronic health disorders.
Old age people are more prone to the lung diseases as they are more vulnerable to the infections because of lowered immunity. Some of the lung problems are curable through regular medication.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
It is occurred due to the problem of normal flow of air into and out of the lungs which leads to the airways inflammation, thickening of the lungs wall lining, excess mucus production in air tubes and etc. It develops symptoms of chronic cough, wheezing, breathing difficulty, shortness of breath. The common cause of it is the huge exposure to the airborne irritants (tobacco, cigarette smoking, occupational or industrial pollutants).
During old age immunity of the old people becomes very low which increases the chance of occurrence of tuberculosis however it is preventable through the regular use of anti-TB treatment (means Directly Observed Treatment Short Term or DOTS) for the prescribed period of time. It is may be caused due to the lower immunity, unhygienic practice, cross infection with some people suffering from chronic tuberculosis and etc.
Pneumonia is the most common old age problem due to the damage of DNA. DNA damage during old age makes people more vulnerable to the community acquired diseases like pneumonia which caused due to the lungs infection. It causes common symptoms of breathing difficulty, fever, chest pain, cough, weakness, tiredness and etc.
Anaemia is the most common health issue during old age during which body reduces its ability to produce haemoglobin due to lack of proper diet or physical activities or other body disorders.
Some more common gastrointestinal disorders during old age are stomach ulcer, bloating, diverticulosis (small pockets appears in the colon wall), colon inflammation (colitis), swallowing difficulty (dysphagia), diarrhea, constipation, piles, bowel incontinence and etc.
Teeth and Gums
Teeth and gums problems are more common during old age. Teeth and gums become very weak, inactive, brittle, dry, painful with bleeding and etc. In old age, tooth decay and infections, bad breath and tooth loss, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and glositis (tongue inflammation) and etc are more common.
Bowel and Bladder
During old age voluntary muscles of the bowel and bladder lose their control and cause problems of incontinence means passing of feces or urine involuntarily.