As people age, they are more likely to develop health issues. Some decline in health is considered normal as people age. Meanwhile, others are symptoms of a serious disease. It’s essential to know the difference so you can get the treatment you need.

The following are some of the most common physical symptoms that seniors should not ignore:

Shortness Of Breath

Shortness of breath is a common symptom that can be caused by many different conditions, some serious and others less so. For seniors, it’s helpful to know which symptoms are more severe and need to be checked out by a doctor and which ones are less urgent, so you can decide whether you need to call your doctor or just treat the symptom at home.

In some instances, shortness of breath is a symptom of complete or partial blockage of the artery. If this is the case, then the senior is prone to a heart attack. Never shrug off the symptom just because you don’t experience chest pain. One way or another, a heart attack can happen with or without feeling anything.

Consult medical help if the shortness of breath is accompanied by the following symptoms: 

  • Dizziness
  • Tightness in the chest area
  • Unexplainable pressure in the chest

Balance And Speech Problems

Speech and balance difficulties are common problems among seniors, and both can be signs of bigger health issues that should not be ignored. As people age, they can experience difficulty hearing and understanding speech, as well as trouble walking steadily or with balance. While these issues may seem harmless in isolation, they can be harbingers of serious health problems, such as stroke, heart disease, or dementia.

The speech problems that many seniors experience are often called age-related speech disorders. They may include difficulty hearing, understanding, or producing speech and are similar to the symptoms of hearing loss or aphasia. While it is common for people to experience mild age-related speech problems, aphasia and other age-related speech disorders can make them more severe. 

If the following symptoms are present, you might want to seek professional help:

  • Slurring of words
  • Numbness in some parts of the body (such as the legs, arms, and face)
  • Unexplained dizziness
  • Vision problems

Vaginal Bleeding After Menopause

Every woman is different, and so is her experience with menopause. Some women sail through menopause with barely any symptoms at all, while others may experience symptoms that disrupt their health and daily routines. It’s common to experience vaginal bleeding after menopause, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. For instance, sex can cause the vagina to bleed after her menopausal period. 

However, it’s important to know the difference between normal menopause bleeding and bleeding that requires medical assessment and intervention. This is especially true if your vagina bled without any known cause. In this case, you need to see a doctor, as vaginal bleeding on postmenopausal stages can be a sign of gynecological cancer.

Constipation

It is true that as we age, our digestive systems slow down a bit, but even someone in their twenties can get constipated and may not know it.  As we age, the risk of getting constipated increases, and we are more likely to suffer serious health problems if we don’t get treatment.

Constipation can also be a sign that there is something wrong with your health. The more you ignore it, the more likely it is to become a serious problem. Every time you are constipated, your body is becoming more prone to hemorrhoids. 

Constipation can be considered normal among the elderly. But keep in mind that the cause of the condition could be a polyp or tumor. Any of these abnormal growths can prevent the smooth exit of the stool. It is also possible for a senior to suffer from fecal impaction, especially if he or she is dealing with constant constipation.

Black Stool

The color of your stool can tell you a lot about your health. Black stool can be a sign of bleeding in the upper digestive tract, which could be a symptom of cancer or of internal bleeding caused by diverticulitis or other health problems. Black stool may also be a sign of excessive iron absorption, which can lead to iron overload and cause oxidative stress that damages cells or even internal bleeding caused by ulcers.

Swollen Breast

A study published in the journal Cancer showed that older women who have dense breasts have an increased risk of dying from breast cancer as well as other cancers. A woman’s breast density is an essential risk factor for cancer and also predicts the risk of breast cancer death. While some breast lumps are not cancerous, all breast lumps should be checked by a doctor.

 

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