Even if we’re young, fit, and healthy, lots of us still have ongoing health issues that can affect us. We look at some of the latest solutions…
Chances are, we all know someone with a health condition, or maybe we have one ourselves that we live with every day. It could be a mental health issue, depression, and anxiety. It could be hearing or hair loss, which can affect people at any age contrary to popular belief. Or maybe you have a mobility issue: stiffness in the joints, or vision loss; something that affects around 2 million people in the UK.
Whatever the issue, you’re not alone. There are many people in the same boat as you needing to adapt their lifestyles in some way to compensate. It isn’t always easy, you might be scared to go outside sometimes, or have to sit through a film without really being able to see it. Maybe you have some chronic joint pain you wish would just go away – but it doesn’t. If you have some of these conditions you’ve probably sought out solutions yourself but are they the latest ones?
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, anyone at any age can be troubled by a health condition. It’s true that as we get older some conditions can start to present, or worsen. The most common of these are hearing and vision loss, also joint pain and mobility. At a biological level, our bodies become frailer over time because of molecular and cellular damage. It causes a deterioration in our cells reducing our mental and physical capacities, and making diseases more likely.
However, our age in years is not the only thing that determines our overall wellness. Some people in their seventies enjoy extremely good health, wellness, and functioning, while people a lot younger may be frail and need lots of help. Beyond biological conditions, other factors contribute to overall well being. People can be affected by where they live, what they eat, as well as their life circumstances. Maybe someone close to them passed away which has affected their mental health.
Depression, anxiety, and fear of going outdoors are common symptoms associated with mental health. These symptoms can present themselves at any age, and sometimes mysteriously. But they can also be triggered by life events, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or moving to a new place outside of your comfort zone.
Hearing loss can be congenital (caused by genetic factors) or brought about by age or illness. The symptoms can range from mild to profound, or no hearing at all. There are huge challenges associated with this but some wonderful technologies and practices exist to help people cope. If you experience poor vision you might have difficulties reading signs, driving, watching television, or a number of other things depending on your type of vision loss. Chances are you will wear glasses or contact lenses, but other solutions are also available.
Mental health issues include anxiety, depression, OCD, addiction, eating disorders, and abuse issues. This list is not exhaustive, so if you think you have a mental health issue it’s worth exploring. Initially, there are helplines available. It can be helpful to talk to someone who has your best interests at heart. Often opening up about an issue is the first step to overcoming it.
Depending on the condition some medications can be accessed through your GP to help treat mild or severe symptoms. If you are struggling to go outside for instance, a condition called agoraphobia, you might need something to take away the immediate fear you have. This can allow you to function normally for a while, go to the shops, or go to a class you’re booked onto. Sometimes we have preconceived ideas about what could happen in the world. Often these are unrealistic and being able to function normally for a while is very important to improving our state of mind. But medication only offers some temporary relief to help you if you’re seriously struggling – it isn’t the best long term solution.
For almost all mental health conditions learning meditation and mindfulness can significantly reduce your symptoms without using medication. The wonderful thing about these practices is they are free, easy to learn, and can be used immediately – even during a crisis. Meditation and mindfulness practices can offer a long term solution to many mental health challenges.
The most common type of vision loss is blurred vision. This includes nearsightedness or shortsightedness (myopia) which is when you can see clearly up close but far away is blurry, and farsightedness or longsightedness (hyperopia) when you can see things clearly far away, but up close is blurry. While these are by far the most common issues they are not the only ones. Age-related degeneration, astigmatism, glaucoma, and cataracts, can all affect people at various stages of life.
The most common kind of correction for loss of vision is glasses or contact lenses. There are a million different types of glasses available and getting a pair to suit you can be easy or difficult depending on what your needs are. Normally you would get a prescription from your optometrist. Once you have this you can start searching the market for frames and styles that suit your look; these days there are so many to choose from. When you find a pair you like, it’s easy to order them online. You will have them within a few days.
Glasses might be the most popular option to correct your visions but they don’t suit everyone and luckily they are not the only solution. If you don’t think you look good wearing glasses, or you play a contact sport, consider contact lenses. They are also available on prescription and can be purchased online. They can be tricky to put in at first, but when you get the hang of it you can enjoy near-perfect vision, without the inconvenience of wearing bulky glasses.
Sometimes hearing loss is congenital, due to unknown genetic factors. Sometimes it is acquired, caused by an infection or illness, such as meningitis, mumps, or Otitis Media. Other times the cause is unknown and can simply be put down to age. If you are not very old and you experience some hearing loss don’t panic; it may only be a temporary condition brought on by loud noises, persistent noises, illness, or infection. As you get older however hearing does naturally deteriorate over time.
If you’ve always been able to hear well and never had any trouble it can be difficult to tell when it starts to deteriorate. You might find that you lose track of what people are saying, or misunderstand them; especially in noisy places. You might have to ask people to speak up more often or find that you need to put the volume on the television up a few extra bars. These can all be signs of natural deterioration in your hearing. It can be stressful, especially if you’ve not had this experience before, however, don’t panic, there are a wide variety of solutions available.
If you suspect your hearing loss is not age-related it could be caused by a buildup of earwax or an infection. In this case, your GP might recommend a treatment to soften the wax or some medication to restore your hearing. In the case of age-related hearing degeneration, many types of hearing aids are available. In the past hearing aids were bulky and noticeable, but now they are very discrete. Some of them hide inside the ear canal and cannot be seen at all, others are well designed to fit the contours of the head and skin tones. Modern hearing aids use sophisticated technology and have far better sound quality than they did before.
Normally associated just with men, hair loss can also affect women. This can be extra stressful for a woman because the expectation of losing their hair at some stage of life is not always there. This means that when it does happen it can also have profound psychological consequences.
It’s normal to lose between fifty and a hundred head hairs on average every day. You will notice these in the shower, on your hairbrush or on your pillow. This is normal and nothing to fret about. But when you notice it falling out in large clumps, bald patches appearing on the side of your head, and your hairline beginning to recede, you might be dealing with a hair loss condition.
Don’t panic! You are not the only woman with a hair loss condition, and it is more common than you might think. Women lose their hair for all sorts of reasons. A temporary condition following pregnancy, a hereditary condition, an autoimmune disorder, the side-effects of medication, and stress or thyroid problems to name a few.
Temporary conditions normally resolved themselves but can be aided with vitamins to encourage hair growth. There are some medications you can take to cure hair loss associated with certain disorders available from your GP. In cases of hereditary loss of hair, there is no direct cure but the process can be slowed with certain treatments available on prescription. In all cases, a reduction of life stress is highly recommended.
Have you experienced any of these common health problems?