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AGEING

What is ageing?
What are some ways to combat the signs of ageing?
Does ageing slow down one’s metabolism?
How to fight against osteoporosis?
If one becomes forgetful, is it Alzheimer's disease?
Does ageing necessarily mean bad eyesight?
What can one do about hearing loss?
Does getting older mean not having a sex life?
Are there any benefits to ageing?
 
Tuesday, 09 June 2009
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
 
What is ageing?
What is ageing?Ageing is an inevitable part of growing older. There are certain factors that can minimise this process like the appearance of blotchy skin, age spots, wrinkles etc. It can be difficult for older people to maintain self-confidence, stay active and involved, and feel useful and needed, especially with the physical limitations age can impose. But the better they feel about themselves, the more likely it is that they will be able to cope with the minor health problems of ageing.
What are some ways to combat the signs of ageing?
What are some ways to combat the signs of ageing?Regular exercises and a healthy diet will always contribute positively to one’s health. As one ages, exercise tends to become more difficult yet more important. It is especially important to stretch regularly to keep the muscles relaxed, but active, and to keep the joints flexible. Regular exercise can improve some diseases and disabilities in older people who already have them. It can improve mood and relieve depression, too.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid crash diets
  • Manage stress
  • Get regular exercise
  • Avoid harsh skin products
  • Get enough rest
  • Use sunscreen
  • Stay out of tanning booths
  • Drink plenty of water
Does ageing slow down one’s metabolism?
Does ageing slow down one’s metabolism?As the body ages, there are also unique nutritional concerns. Cholesterol intake should be monitored due to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart diseases and stroke.) High blood pressure can be controlled through a low-fat and low-salt diet. Fruits and vegetables are known to combat the risk of cancer, and can help regulate one’s digestive system. In addition, post-menopausal women should consult their doctor regarding calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis. While it is true that older women need fewer than the recommended calories/day, no one should consume fewer than 1,500 calories per day.
How to fight against osteoporosis?
How to fight against osteoporosis?Osteoporosis occurs when one’s bones are excessively fragile and break easily. Women are four times more likely than men to develop this condition because of the loss of oestrogen at menopause. Drugs to treat osteoporosis have been shown to preserve or increase bone masses and maintain bone quality to reduce the risk of fractures. There has been significant recent advances in treatment. A healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D is prescribed. Calcium tablets and oral vitamin D preparations may be given if the oral intake is inadequate. Routine exercises are recommended.
If one becomes forgetful, is it Alzheimer's disease?
If one becomes forgetful, is it Alzheimer's disease?

It is natural to lose some mental acuity as one ages. So one’s minds can at times experience something that feels like overload, and it is easy to forget some of life’s details. Serious memory loss, however, is more rare. As many as 1% of people over the age of 60 suffer from some form of dementia which is characterised by significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in older people. It begins slowly. At first, the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness. People with AD may have trouble remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. There is no cure for it. Doctors may prescribe certain medication in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease. People with AD should go to their doctor regularly. The doctor will check to see how the disease is progressing and treat any other illnesses that occur. The doctor and other health professionals also can offer help and support to patients and their families. Currently, there is on-going research into preventing and curing Alzheimer’s disease.

Does ageing necessarily mean bad eyesight?
Does ageing necessarily mean bad eyesight?

Many older people have relatively good eyesight into there eighties and beyond. Growing older does not always mean one sees poorly. But age brings changes that can weaken the eyes, making reading, in particular, more difficult. There are some easy things to try when these changes happen. One might add brighter lights in more places around the house, like at work counters, stairways, and favourite reading places. This may help one to see better and can sometimes prevent accidents caused by weak eyesight. One might need prescription glasses for reading, or simple reading glasses might be enough.

Cataracts are common among older people. Cataracts are cloudy areas in part or all of the eye lens. The lens is usually clear and lets light through. Cataracts keep light from easily passing through the lens, and this causes loss of eyesight. Cataracts often form slowly and cause no pain, redness, or tearing in the eye. If a cataract becomes large or thick, it can be removed by surgery. Glaucoma is another common eye disease. This is the result of too much fluid pressure inside the eye. It can lead to vision loss and blindness. It is important to see the doctor regularly to check on one’s eyesight and other related problems.

What can one do about hearing loss?
What can one do about hearing loss?As people get older they have hearing problems. They may mistake words in a conversation, miss musical notes at a concert, or leave a ringing doorbell unanswered. Hearing problems can be small (missing certain sounds) or large (more serious deafness). However, one can get help. Special training, hearing aids, certain medicines, and surgery are some of the choices that help people with hearing problems.
Does getting older mean not having a sex life?
Does getting older mean not having a sex life?

Women can enjoy sex well into their senior years. Women may notice changes in the shape and flexibility of the vagina, however. These changes do not usually mean a serious loss in the ability to enjoy sex. Most women will have a decrease in vaginal lubrication that affects sexual pleasure. There are lots of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants availlable. Sexuality is often a delicate balance of emotional as well as physical issues.

Older men may fear that impotence will become a more frequent problem as they age. As a woman ages, she may become more anxious about her appearance. This emphasis on youthful physical beauty or sexual powers can interfere with a man or woman’s ability to enjoy sex.

Older couples may have the same problems that affect people at any age. But they may also have added concerns of age, retirement and other lifestyle changes, and chronic illness. These problems can cause sexual difficulties. It is important to talk openly with the doctor or see a therapist. It is also important to discuss these issues and worries openly with one’s mate.

Are there any benefits to ageing?
Are there any benefits to ageing?Ageing men and women face many changes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Many of these changes offer new opportunities in life and a new outlook. It is important to maintain an optimistic and active life-style. There are many ageing societies, which help seniors remain active and involved.
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