Good news: more Americans are living longer. The average lifespan in the country is around 78 years old. That’s almost 20 years more than the average life expectancies of men and women in the 1930s.
You can also look into the growing senior populations in states like Utah. According to the Utah Department of Human Services, the 65-and-up group could grow by over 50% between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, from 2020 to 2030, those 75 years old and above will rise by 60%.
Unfortunately, aging can also be a significant risk factor for specific conditions. Pay attention to the following:
Whiplash is a cervical or neck injury that occurs because of a sudden thrust forward or backward of the region. Picture yourself suddenly stomping your foot on the brakes and observe how your head moves.
Whiplash is one of the most common accident-related injuries. Although most cases are minor, they can cause significant damage to older people. When you age, your muscles can lose strength or the neck becomes less flexible. You are also more prone to arthritis, which worsens whiplash pain.
If you’re feeling numbness, discomfort, or dizziness after a vehicle accident or sudden movement of the neck, you can get help from professionals. Many chiropractors, for instance, now specialize in whiplash injury.
2. Thyroid Problems
The butterfly-shaped thyroid glands around the neck region are small, but they perform significant functions, such as secreting hormones that regulate metabolism. Studies also showed a connection between mental disorders like anxiety or depression and thyroid problems.
Although these issues can occur at any age, getting older can be a significant risk factor. In particular, you are more prone to subclinical hypothyroidism. When left untreated, it can raise the odds of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
3. Macular Degeneration
If you can see clearly, it’s all thanks to the macula, the central part of the retina. Sadly, the sensitive tissue can degenerate over time. This condition is, in fact, one of the common eye conditions for people over 60.
Macular degeneration is incurable, and usually, symptoms don’t appear until the later stages. By then, you might have already suffered from significant vision loss.
However, you can delay the changes by getting a regular eye exam. After 40, see an ophthalmologist at least once a year. As a bonus, you can prevent other eye-related conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts.
All Hope Is Not Lost
Aging can increase the risks of certain medical conditions, especially since the body also undergoes wear and tear. It doesn’t mean you cannot prevent or delay their progress. According to studies, here are the best ways to slow down the aging process:
- Exercise. Low-impact ones, such as yoga or walking, for 30 minutes a day can be good for the heart and easy on the joints. They can increase your flexibility, agility, and mobility.
- Consider calorie restriction. A 2020 research by the Salk Institute showed that eating fewer calories affect cellular pathways that control metabolism and inflammation.
- Socialize. Experts believe that having a powerful support group is healthy. It lowers stress and even encourages people to embrace healthier lifestyles.
- Visit your doctor regularly. Prevention is and will always be better than cure. The sooner you can address your health problems, the better your quality of life will be.
Getting older can be frightening, especially when you think about health problems that come with it. But as long as you are proactive, you can enjoy your sunset years to the hilt.