The risk of certain health problems can increase as we get older. By knowing the warning signs, you can catch these health problems early and stop them in their tracks (or possibly even reverse them). Here are just a few warning signs to look out for and what they could mean.
You’re struggling to hear people in conversations
Struggling to hear things properly could be a sign of hearing loss. Many people suffer from hearing loss as they get older – whilst factors such as exposure to loud noise can accelerate hearing loss, many people may still lose their hearing naturally.
Hearing loss can make social situations difficult, often making people feel isolated as they may not be able to join conversations. This can then lead to depression. Fortunately, it’s easy to correct hearing loss with a hearing aid. By taking a hearing test, you can find the right prescription and start hearing clearly again.
Your vision seems unusually blurry
A lot of people notice their sight starting to fade in later life. Presbyopia can make it hard to read objects up close and may require buying reading glasses. Some people may also develop myopia later in life, which is an inability to see objects far away clearly, also easily correctable with glasses.
Other forms of blurry vision could be more of a concern. More progressive cloudiness and perhaps even streaks of light could be a sign of cataracts. This is a hardening of the lens which can result in blindness if untreated. Cataracts removal will require surgery – this is a routine operation and sounds more scary than it is.
Blurry vision could also be a sign of diabetes. This is caused by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes is usually accompanied by weight gain, increased feelings of tiredness, increased thirst or a need to urinate more – it could be worth still going to a doctor to check.
You keep losing your balance
If you keep falling over or constantly have to prop yourself up, it could be the first sign of a mobility issue. It could be multiple sclerosis or even a sign of motor neurone disease. These are problems you should consult your doctor about – catching them early could help you to slow them down.
High blood pressure can also lead to a loss of balance. This could be a result of a poor diet, a lack of exercise of stress. By making lifestyle changes, you may be able to lower your blood pressure.
You’re getting out of breath easily
Respiratory problems can also develop later in life causing difficulty breathing. If you’re a smoker or have smoked in the past, you may be at risk of developing bronchitis. By quitting smoking and possibly getting an inhaler prescribed by your doctor, you could help to easily manage this condition.
Other respiratory problems can be more serious and may require greater treatment. Exposure to materials like asbestos may lead to a cancer called mesothelioma, which is very serious – with brilliant mesothelioma attorneys at your service, you may be able to claim compensation and fund treatment. Getting checked for lung cancer in general could also be worthwhile.
You’re struggling to get to the toilet on time
Struggling to reach the toilet on time could be an early sign of bowel or bladder problems. Incontinence can be embarrassing and as a result many people don’t seek treatment for it. This however can cause a condition to get worse and more uncomfortable. Seeing a doctor could also help rule out more serious problems such as bowel cancer.
You may be able to cut out triggers such as alcohol, caffeine and smoking to help control urinary/digestive system. Many older women that have previously had children find that exercising the pelvic floor can make a big difference. You may also want to be careful of lifting heavy weights.
You keep forgetting things
A lot of people get more forgetful in later life. This may not be anything to worry about until it start affecting your day to day life such as forgetting the way home or forgetting important tasks and events – this could be an early sign of dementia.
There is no official cure for dementia, but many people have been successful at slowing down symptoms and even halting them completely by making various lifestyle changes. Engaging the brain in puzzle activities and eating lots of omega-3 are just two ways to possibly ward off dementia.
You’re experiencing regular chest pain
If you experience chest pain, it could be time to see a doctor immediately. Chest pain can be a sign of heart disease – which is the world’s biggest killer. Fatigue, nausea, pain in your arms and shortness of breath could be other symptoms to look out for.
While heart disease can seem scary, it can be kept under control by making the right lifestyle choices. Reducing stress, eating healthy, exercising moderately and quitting smoking can all have a positive impact on the heart. You may even be able to partially reverse symptoms of heart disease.