Practically everyone will experience a few ailments as they grow older, but many of the most common age-related health concerns can be minimized or avoided entirely with the proper care. Those who focus on their overall health and work with an experienced team of medical professional should be able to enjoy an active and satisfying life well into their retirement years. Here are a few of the leading health concerns for those who are over the age of 50 and some steps that can be taken to prevent them.
According to the CDC, nearly 30 percent of all adults over the age of 49 have arthritis. This condition is characterized by pain and inflammation around one’s joints, and it is typically caused by a mixture of internal and external factors. Staying at a healthy weight and engaging in low-impact exercises for at least 150 minutes a week are two of the most effective ways to prevent arthritis. Those who have a mild form of arthritis can often manage the side effects with over-the-counter painkillers.
Type 2 diabetes has become one of the most pervasive health conditions in the country, and a very high percentage of adults will struggle with this disease at some point. When left untreated, diabetes can cause many secondary complications including nerve damage, vision problems, and organ failure. The vast majority of diabetic patients can reverse this disease by controlling their glucose levels with dietary changes.
The two biggest risk factors for heart disease are an individual’s age and their weight. Older adults also need to keep an eye on their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to make sure that they stay within a healthy range. Some of the most common side effects of heart disease include pain in the chest, pressure in the chest, discomfort emanating from the neck, and indigestion.
Cataracts remain one of the most common causes of vision loss, but this condition can often be completely reversed if it is caught in its earliest stages. That is why all adults must continue to schedule regular appointments with an eye clinic like Discover Vision Centers in order to be screened for issues such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. In the earliest stages, the side effects can generally be mitigated with stronger eyeglasses or contacts. Once the condition has progressed far enough, the patient will most likely require cataract surgery.
We know very little about what causes Alzheimer’s, but those who catch the early warning signs can generally delay the side effects for many years. Some Alzheimer’s symptoms that older adults should keep an eye out for include mood swings, general forgetfulness, and difficulty solving problems. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities will all slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Even if you feel healthier than ever, you should still schedule regular checkups with a dentist, eye doctor, and general physician at least once a year. These medical professionals can help you catch common health problems so that you can continue to live your life to the fullest.