Diseases can affect anyone at any age, but people are probably more familiar with the diseases we are more prone to. Here are some of the most common age-related diseases along with their symptoms, what can cause them, and if they can be cured or prevented.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the most common cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 50 years. AMD does not cause complete blindness, as peripheral vision is not affected by the disease – it is mainly the central field of view. Older age, race (Caucasian origin), lifestyle and family history – the main causes of AMD. That’s why it’s important to eat right protect your eyes against AMD and other age-related / non-age-related forms of eye disease. A nutritious and varied diet seems to be the most effective way to prevent or at least delay the effects of AMD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs that causes limited airflow to and from the lungs. It is most common in people over the age of 65, whose symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath and a chronic cough that worsens over time. COPD is usually caused only by environmental factors such as smoking, secondhand smoke and other irritants that may be in the air. This means that COPD can be prevented, which is good because there is no known cure. Preventing the development of COPD can be helped by maintaining proper indoor air quality (IAQ).
Dementia and other memory problems
Dementia and its various forms are due to a significant decrease in brain function, mainly affecting memory, but also a decrease in judgment and mood swings. Unfortunately, none of the causes of dementia are treatable. There are several other individual diseases that actually cause dementia. Check out How to deal with the first signs of dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease this is probably the best known cause of dementia as it is the most common cause. Alzheimer’s disease affects virtually all aspects of the brain, including memory, judgment, personality, and social and physical functions. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, but genetics seems to be the biggest cause.
Huntington’s disease has many of the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease, but it is also characterized by uncontrolled movements and twitching of the face and limbs. It is almost always passed from parent to child, but some mutations in genes can cause development in a person without a family history.
Parkinson’s disease is more related to tremors than memory, although problems with thinking still arise. Most people with Parkinson’s disease develop the disease at age 60, and it is also mainly due to genetics.
Many people with loved ones who suffer from dementia prefer to give them to a nursing home. This may be the best choice for many families, although unfortunately many patients with dementia are abused in nursing homes. If you are thinking about placing a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to conduct research in this institution and know the signs of violence against the elderly. There are legal resources to help you too.
Osteoporosis it is when bone mass decreases that causes bone weakening. This condition increases with age, most commonly in Caucasian and Asian women. People with low bone density are also at risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis almost always causes fractures and broken bones in women over the age of 50. One of the best ways to fight this disease is to exercise with weights to strengthen bones and muscles, and to get enough vitamin D from the sun (still on sunscreens) and from foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, such as dairy products.
Although many age-related illnesses cannot be cured because genetics play a huge role in the development of the disease, it seems that a healthy diet and proper exercise can help or slow down some of them, or reduce their effects. Of course, everyone is different, and not all methods will work for everyone. If you experience any symptoms, be sure to consult your doctor.