Geriatric Ailments: 7 Common Medical Conditions That Old Age Has in Store for You 

Geriatric Ailments

Old age brings along a number of health issues. They say it’s not easy getting old. Funny, eh? According to a study, 62% of individuals older than 65 suffer from at least one chronic health condition.

In this article today, I’m going to highlight seven medical conditions that are commonly found in older adults. Although there’s no such thing as geriatric ailments, a few health conditions are common among older adults.

The medical conditions mentioned below are most likely to affect people older than 65 years compared to middle-aged individuals and children. Let’s get this started now:

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is the tenderness and swelling of joints in the body. It can affect one or more joints. Osteoarthritis is a common kind of arthritis that is mostly found in old age people. As mentioned in a study, 27 million adults in the US suffer from osteoarthritis, and most of them are older than 65 years.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis 

  • Swelling in joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Body aches and soreness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Redness and rashes
  • Bone spurs

Treatment of Osteoarthritis 

  • Allopathic pain relief medicines
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroid injections
  • Topical pain ointments
  • Lifestyle changes like regular exercise
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Natural painkillers such as marijuana shatter

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is quite prevalent in old age. It occurs when the brain cells die, it’s a slow and irreversible kind of brain damage. Alzheimer’s severely affects your memory and ability to think. It gradually spreads and eventually makes the simplest tasks complicated.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease 

  • Shortened attention span
  • Difficulty thinking logically and organizing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness with language
  • Disturbed reading and writing skills
  • Decreased confusion
  • Inability to cope with new situations
  • Memory amnesia

Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease 

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors
  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibits
  • Memantine
  • Cognitive stimulation therapy
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Psychological coping strategies
  • Environmental changes like keeping things at the same place

Cardiovascular Disease

According to the National Institute on Aging, people older than 65 are at a higher risk to suffer from cardiovascular disease compared to younger adults. It goes without saying that aging causes several changes in the blood vessels and heart, making older adults more prone to cardiovascular issues. Just to make it clear, cardiovascular disease is a broad term used for problems related to the cardiac system.

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue and nausea
  • Discomfort or pain in shoulders, jaw, and arms
  • Discomfort or chest pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Slow heartbeat and general weakness

Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease 

  • Blood thinners
  • Medicines to regulate cardiac rhythm and lower cholesterol
  • Surgery for valve repair
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a balanced diet

Hypertension

Hypertension is another term used for high blood pressure. Yes, you may encounter a high and low in your blood pressure sometimes, but it becomes an everyday issue as you start aging. The worst part being, persistent high blood pressure can be life-threatening. Lifespan Living reports that high blood pressure, when left untreated, leaves an 80% chance of death.

Symptoms of Hypertension 

  • Mild to severe headache
  • Confusion or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nose bleeding or blood in the urine
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest
  • Vision problems or confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat

Treatment of Hypertension 

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Alpha and beta-blockers
  • A low sodium diet
  • Lifestyle changes like daily exercise
  • Stress management

Lung Disease

Lung disease refers to problems associated with the lungs. Any issue that prevents your lungs from working properly is a lung disease. As stated by the National Library of Medicine, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, and respiratory tract infection are some of the health conditions commonly found in older adults.

Symptoms of Lung Disease 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort or pain when breathing
  • Recurring cough
  • Decreased stamina and ability to work
  • Feeling like you’re not getting enough air
  • Excessive production of mucus
  • Coughing mucus or blood

Treatment of Lung Disease 

  • Inhalers to regulate breathing rate
  • Steroid medicines
  • Antibiotics
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery for lung repair
  • Lung transplant in severe cases
  • Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that is commonly found in older adults. The disease begins gradually and is divided into five stages, stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. In the given countdown, stage 5 is the most severe. It’s a long neurological disorder that can shake your life upside down.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease 

  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • A higher risk of falling
  • Decreased ability to move around
  • Limb stiffness
  • Shaking of arms, legs, head, and jaws
  • Changes in speech

Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease 

  • Dopamine agonists
  • Levodopa
  • Monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors
  • Language and speech therapy
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapy
  • Lifestyle changes like a balanced diet

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a brain disease that can cause recurring seizures. It’s a severe health condition that is followed by tumors and dementia. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that one out of three million people in the US that suffer from epilepsy are older than 55 years.

Symptoms of Epilepsy 

  • Loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Shaking and trembling
  • A staring spell
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Recurring seizures
  • Periods of unusual behavior
  • Psychological symptoms such as deja vu, anxiety, and fear

Treatment of Epilepsy 

  • Anti-epileptic drugs
  • Anti-seizure medicines
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Vagus nerve stimulation
  • Stress management
  • Surgery in severe cases
  • Lifestyle changes like following a ketogenic diet

The Takeaway

Old age is full of surprises. Some of them may be good as you get to rest in old age, but we still cannot neglect the fact that it comes with several health complications, too. As mentioned earlier, the health conditions mentioned above are more likely to affect old adults. God forbid you to have them, but it’s wise to stay aware. Isn’t it? I wish you a healthy and prosperous life, my friends!

Geriatric Ailments: 7 Common Medical Conditions That Old Age Has in Store for You 

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