Old Age

The Medical Community Responds To Aging

Graceful aging combines good health and an active lifestyle. As the body ages, mobility and health can be compromised, inhibiting a full life for seniors. Heart, lungs, and kidneys are just a few organs that work hard during a long life and wear out. Modern medicine, in the form of geriatrics, has come a long way in successfully keeping organs from failing. Improved understanding of the role of diet and exercise is now keeping senior citizens healthier and able to function without pain longer. This is great news for those who have aged and need help in order to continue living a full and active life.

Major organs such as hearts, lungs and kidneys may need a more in-depth solution. Replacement is not a ready option at this time, but repair of these vital organs can be accomplished in many cases. Heart valves and stents can keep blood flowing by repairing the heart. More and more medicines are being approved for lung problems such as emphysema and COPD. They are enabling people to breathe at a rate that allows them to live a more active life. Dialysis has long been used to replace worn out or damaged kidneys and can keep a patient alive for many years. Kidney transplants have come a long way, but there is still a long wait for donors. Advances in communication and education have resulted in more kidney donations.

One organ that has long been treated for age is the ear. Hearing is important in many ways, especially as people age. Being able to listen to music, laughing children and loved ones is a joy for those who have made it through to their senior years. Hearing aids have historically been the best way to enhance hearing when there is a loss of function in the ear. Now, breakthroughs such as cochlea implants are making an even greater difference for those in need.

Many patients suffering from hearing loss consult their doctor immediately upon noticing it. Unfortunately, damage may continue to occur until the problem is discovered. Sometimes a lifetime of loud noise has damaged the ear beyond the ability of medicine to compensate. This condition can only be corrected with the augmentation of a hearing aid, or the extreme measure of a cochlea implant. Other times the solution is simple. Ear wax removal may affect a complete cure for those with hearing loss.