Living comfortably with allergies and asthma.
These diseases may be underdiagnosed and overlooked among seniors, who often develop them later in life.
As we get older, we expect to experience changes in our body commonly associated with aging such as thinning bones, hearing and vision loss, and arthritis. What we don’t expect is the onset of allergies and asthma. These are usually thought of as childhood diseases. However, allergies and asthma are commonly diagnosed for the first time in people who are 65 and older.
More Americans than ever are suffering from allergies, ranking this condition as the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, according to the National Academy on an Aging Society. Each year, allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits, primarily in the spring and fall; seasonal allergies account for more than half of all allergy visits, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 50 million Americans (that’s 1 in 5 Americans) suffers from allergies. Asthma affects more than 25 million people in the United States. Read more
Get answers to your allergy questions.
Do you know what a gluten allergy is? Have you ever had hives? Do you know how many people in this country suffer from allergies?
Test your knowledge of allergies, including causes and symptoms of an allergic reaction, as well as the best treatment strategies, with this allergy quiz courtesy of MedicineNet.com.
Take quiz now!
Regardless of how old we are, there are steps we can take now to protect our bones and muscles, maintain our strength.
Strong bones and muscles increase our fitness and balance, protect us from falls, and help to ensure our mobility and independence. However, as we age, our bones and muscles start to deteriorate. Bones lose calcium and other minerals, become thin and break easily, a condition called osteoporosis. Muscles get weak and lose mass, a condition called sarcopenia.
As many as half of all women and a quarter of all men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, reports the National Institutes of Health. Osteoporosis is a major reason for fractures in women past menopause. When bones are fragile, even a minor fall can cause fractures. Like osteoporosis is to bone, sarcopenia is to muscle. Sarcopenia (Greek for loss of flesh) is a medical condition that refers to age-related muscle loss. Both conditions may compromise an older person’s health and ability to function independently.