15 Most Common Health Problems That Sneak Up on You After Age 50

Getting older is a wonderful thing in that you have more years to enjoy, make memories, and surround yourself with family and friends. But getting older doesn’t come without a set of downfalls too, as several health problems can sneak up on you after age 50.

While not every health problem can be avoided, knowing what to watch for can help with early detection and getting medical attention when needed. Here are 15 of the most common health problems that can sneak up on you after the age of 50.

High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can indeed happen at any age but tends to become more common in your golden years. Because your blood vessels start to tighten up and become less flexible with age, it becomes harder for the blood to pump throughout your body. Besides age, other reasons for high blood pressure can include smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, and stress.

Arthritis

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For those over the age of 50, arthritis tends to be incredibly common. The good news is that there are usually treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate the symptoms.

Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is another common health issue and is a bone disease. As a person ages their bone mass naturally decreases, which negatively affects its integrity. It also means you have a high risk of broken bones.

High Cholesterol

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Many health issues arise with age that a person has no control over, then there are those you can have an impact on. High cholesterol As cholesterol levels rise, you increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Cholesterol naturally rises with age, which means it’s important to do more to prevent it. Be sure to eat a healthy well-balanced diet and stay active.

Diabetes

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Diabetes is something that ranges in severity and is more common than you may think. Currently, approximately one in 10 people in the U.S. have it. The risk increases with age, so you must keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Cataracts

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Vision can also start to deteriorate with age, and cataracts can form in one or both eyes. It is described as a cloud that forms on your eyes, making vision impaired. Cataracts may need to be treated with laser eye treatment.

Anxiety

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Just because you are getting older and getting closer to retirement doesn’t mean your life becomes stress-free. It can be common for seniors to suffer from anxiety. And it’s not just anxiety, depression is also common in seniors, which can be brought on by big life changes. Be sure to see your doctor if you suspect either of these issues.

Stroke

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Did you know that after age 45 your risk of having a stroke doubles with each decade? It is a sobering statistic and one that should prompt people to take good care of their health. What happens during a stroke is that the blood supply to your brain is blocked, or blood vessels can burst. The after-effects can be mild, or incredibly severe and permanent.

Heart Attack

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And speaking of illnesses where the risk factor increases with age, heart attacks are another one. Should blood flow to your heart muscle become blocked, a heart attack can occur due to the lack of oxygen. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one way to reduce risk.

Heart Disease

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Coronary artery disease is something that isn’t always talked about enough, as it is one of the leading causes of death among people over the age of 65. Other factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more can also increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease. A healthy heart should be a top priority.

Pneumonia

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Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in the lungs. Pneumonia can affect one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid, causing such symptoms as coughing, fever, chills and breathing difficulty. Unfortunately it’s very common in people over the age of 50, in particular those over the age of 65. Not only can it cause discomfort and a long recovery period, but it can also cause life-threatening complications.

Gout

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Gout may not be a health issue you hear about often, but it can cause a lot of problems. It is an inflammatory disease that falls under the arthritis umbrella. Those who have it tend to have good periods and, where the gout flares up then goes away. It causes sudden joint pain, often in a person’s big toe.

Dementia

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Dementia is the term that is used to describe the decline in a person’s cognitive skills. It varies in severity, can be a slow or quick decline, and affects people in different ways. While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help.

Alzheimer’s Disease

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The number of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease is quite daunting. This is another disease in which there is no cure, but some treatments and lifestyle changes have been shown to help. The disease causes cognitive impairment and gets worse over time.

Shingles

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Shingles is an incredibly uncomfortable, even painful issue that people over 50 may deal with. It is the chicken pox virus that can return in a person’s senior years. Shingles look like a rash or blisters, but they cause a burning sensation. The good news is there is a shingles vaccine that can prevent the illness from happening, so be sure to talk to your doctor.

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