Seniors can experience several problems related to the bladder as a result of age-related changes in the urinary system.
All About Bladder problems in Seniors
Here are some common bladder problems that affect older adults:
Urinary Incontinence: This is the unintentional loss of urine. It can occur due to weakened pelvic muscles, decreased bladder capacity, or impaired nerve function. There are different types of urinary incontinence, including stress incontinence (leakage during activities such as coughing or laughing), urge incontinence (a sudden strong urge to urinate), and overflow incontinence (inability to empty the bladder completely).
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Seniors are more susceptible to UTIs, which occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Symptoms may include frequent urination, pain or burning during urination, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, and pelvic discomfort. UTIs in older adults can be more serious and may lead to confusion or delirium.
Bladder Outlet Obstruction: It is the partial or complete blockage of urine flow from the bladder. It can be caused by an enlarged prostate (in men), bladder stones, urinary tract tumors, or pelvic organ prolapse (in women). Symptoms may include difficulty starting urination, weak urine stream, increased frequency of urination, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Bladder Prolapse: Also known as cystocele, bladder prolapse occurs when the bladder droops or descends into the vagina. It can happen due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues. Symptoms may include a bulge or pressure sensation in the vaginal area, urinary incontinence, frequent urination, and difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
Bladder Cancer: Although bladder cancer can affect individuals of all ages, it is more commonly diagnosed in older adults. Symptoms include blood in the urine (hematuria), frequent urination, pain during urination, and pelvic pain. Risk factors for bladder cancer include smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, and chronic bladder irritation.
It's important for seniors experiencing bladder problems to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options may include lifestyle modifications, medication, bladder training exercises, pelvic floor muscle exercises, surgical interventions, or a combination of these approaches.