As the years accumulate, so do the changes in our bodies. These changes sometimes manifest as degenerative conditions. Over time, these conditions affect the individual’s life more and more. What are the most common degenerative conditions in older adults?
This article will explore the eight most common degenerative conditions observed in older adults.
8 Degenerative Conditions in Older Adults
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cushioning between joints breaks down. It causes pain and stiffness in the affected joints. This condition usually affects joints that carry our weight, like hips and knees. Around 32.5 million people in the US have this problem.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that slowly makes people forget things and affects their thinking. It’s the most common cause of dementia in older people. Over 55 million people worldwide have dementia.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease makes it hard to control movement, causing tremors and stiffness. About 1.6% of Americans with Medicare are treated for this condition yearly.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
The eyes and vision can start to go as we age. AMD can distort central vision, affecting around 20 million American adults. Global predictions indicate that 288 million people will have this condition by 2040. In the US, it’s a leading cause of vision loss in those aged 60 and above.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Spinal discs can break down over time, leading to back pain. Believe it or not, 80% of adults will feel back pain at some point. The rates and severity of back pain increase as people age.
Many older adults start having trouble hearing. About one-third of them can’t hear well, up to almost half for those 75 or older.
Our heart health can decline as we age, leading to problems like clogged arteries and high blood pressure. In a study, only 17% of elderly patients with coronary heart disease had no additional chronic conditions. Estimates suggest that 70% of individuals over 70 will experience cardiovascular disease.
Cataracts can make your eyesight blurry. More than half of Americans will get cataracts by age 80. But the good news is that cataract surgery is a common and successful treatment.
Are we truly prepared to face these challenges for ourselves or our loved ones?
While these conditions might appear formidable, knowledge is your most potent weapon. Around 80% of adults aged 65 and older have at least one chronic condition. However, many of these conditions are manageable.
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