We all experience aging in different ways, primarily determined by our lifestyle. Aging is a process and it takes place throughout our entire life-span.
Our bodies are not spared in the aging process. We may put on a bit of weight or occasionally experience joint pains. These are all signs of normal aging.
We will take you through the most common side effects of normal aging below so you know what to expect. If you are already feeling any of these, rest assured, these signs are normal.
If you are in your 40s or older, you are probably reading this while wearing glasses. Trouble with vision is a normal aging progression, so fear not. At and around this age, eye-disorders are common. The most common eyesight issue is known as Presbyopia. It occurs when the lens become stiff and neglect to properly adjust to refocus from distance to near vision.
Cataracts come later on. These are commonly described as the clouding of lens as it begins to affect your vision especially in your 60s. increased risk of cataracts is caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
You can help to create sight longevity by:
- Scheduling regular checkups and following the doctors advise on using corrective lenses.
- Wearing protective sun glasses while in bright sunlight. The glasses can and should be recommended by an optician.
The majority of people above the age of 60 have some kind of hearing problem. Hearing loss is a condition known as Presbycusis. It is caused by loss of sensory receptors in the inner year. You may start hearing sounds muffled or you may be unable to understand high-pitched voices. These are some of the most common symptoms. Men generally tend to experience hearing loss more than women.
Below are ways in which you can improve your ear health:
- Ensure you regularly visit your doctor for check ups.
- Wear corrective devices if you are advised by a doctor to do so.
- Use earplugs when you are around loud noises such as machinery and concerts.
Thin and Fragile Skin
As you age, you skin will start to thin and become less elastic and more fragile. This is because fatty tissue below the skin decreases. You produce less natural oils therefore your skin becomes drier. You develop wrinkles, skin tags and age spots. Don’t stress. There are actions to take in order to mitigate the risks of thin and fragile skin issues.
To promote healthy skin you can:
- Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
- Eat a healthy diet and include more fruits and vegetables.
- Drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated.
- Be gentle on your skin. Shower in warm (not hot) water.
- Use mild soaps and moisturizer.
- Avoid smoking.
Decrease in Strength
As we age, the following changes takes place in our bodies:
- We lose muscle tissue
- The muscles become more rigid and less toned
- Internal organs lose their extra reserve
- The walls of the heart become thicker and heart rate slows
- Arteries become stiffer
These changes affect our overall stamina. We are no longer able to do things we did in our younger years such as vigorous exercising. We may experience fatigue when we carry strenuous activities.
Weight training and stretching works to improve strength and flexibility. Perform light exercises such as walking to help maintain functional strength and increase your stamina. The bones, joints and muscles are the most affected by decrease in strength.
Here are ways you can improve overall strength and functionality:
- Increase calcium intake in your diet. Sources of calcium include: dairy products, salmon, tofu, broccoli and kale.
- Get adequate amounts of vitamin D both in your diet and from sunlight. Dietary sources of vitamin D are: eggs, salmon and tuna.
- Avoid substance abuse such as alcohol and smoking.
High Blood Pressure
Changes that our bodies experience when we age make us vulnerable to some medical conditions; high blood pressure being the most common especially for the 60+ age group. Blood vessels inevitably lose elasticity with age. This stiffness contributes to high blood pressure.
Some factors that may cause high blood pressure include:
- Genetic predispositions
- Increased sodium consumption
To maintain healthy blood pressure, you can:
- Watch your waistline and avoid adding extra pounds.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet, and lower sodium intake.
- Reduce undo stress.
Subtle changes in memory occur naturally as we age. Older people find it harder to multi-task. They also experience difficulty in learning and retaining new information. This is due to general information processing slower as we grow older. The occasional memory lapses such as forgetting where you placed your keys, are normal with age.
Taking these steps now may help improve overall cognitive health:
- Have a physical exercise plan in your daily routine. It will improve your brain function, reduce stress and depression.
- Avoid alcohol which leads to confusion and memory loss.
- Increase your social connections to avoid stress and depression. Depression and stress contributes to memory loss
- Avoid smoking.
We understand aging can be a daunting process to experience. If you have any questions regarding the natural effects of aging, or health issues in general, please reach out to us here today.