Whether we know it or not and whether we like it or not – we will grow old. Growing old is part of life and an inevitable process that we cannot help. The more we grow old, the more our bodies start to shut down with certain age-related ailments and diseases surfacing until we gradually near our mortal end.
The issue of age-related diseases is important because it does not only affect individuals; it also affects families and creates challenges for the government too. For instance, the family of the aged folk will be worried on how to deal to emerging health challenges while the government will be faced with providing affordable healthcare, home for the aged, social security, and other needs for the elderly.
As people age or grow older, their physical conditions start to decline and they start to experience issues with their muscolosketal, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems. The following however are some of the health challenges experienced by people growing old:
1. Eye problems: Have you observed that many elderly people use glasses? It’s because of their eyesight. Some people experience declining vision and other eye-related problems as they age, and these include cataract, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other eye conditions.
2. Bone and joint issues: Elderly people start to experience bone and muscle problems as they age further, and these problems manifest as osteoporosis, arthritis, inflammation of the joints, back and waist pains, and other physical body related discomforts. Women tend to suffer more from arthritis and bone problems than men due to loss of estrogen.
3. Sleep disorders: The more certain individuals grow older the lesser they find it easy to sleep. Sleep disorders is common with ageing folks and this is when they have trouble falling asleep or waking much earlier than they desire. Insomnia and limb movement cause old folks to experience high blood pressure but drugs can always correct the problem.
4. Cardiovascular diseases: Many aged people suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues that predispose them to cardiovascular diseases which could lead to coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and heart failure or cardiac arrest among others.
5. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: Both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are common to ageing people and are hallmarks of age-related diseases. Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of senile dementia which could cause impaired speech and memory lapses, while Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination.
6. Diabetes: Many aged folks suffer from diabetes as a result of poor management of blood sugar and this in turn affects their eyesight, wound healing, kidney function, and other body health. Diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes and drug therapy.
7. Cancer: Cancer growth is somehow related to age, and both men and women are affected by this little-understood disease. There are several types of cancers and these include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, and throat and mouth cancer among others. An individual has higher chances of developing cancer if a close family member has the disease. Chemotherapy, early detection, and drugs are used to treat the disease in individuals.
- Hearing Loss
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- High Blood Pressure – Hypertension
- Cerebrovascular Disease (Strokes)