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Healthy Aging Archive

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Stopping pain before it turns chronic

Short-term (acute) pain occurs for various reasons, like a sports or exercise injury, a broken bone, a medical procedure, or a household accident. Many times the pain goes away or diminishes on its own or with a combination of rest and over-the-counter remedies. But if ignored, the pain may progress to longer and potentially more serious chronic pain that requires stronger medication, physical therapy, and other treatments.

Finding a higher meaning

As people age, they are more likely to explore a religious or spiritual practice. Research has found that this type of engagement is linked to longer life and a lower risk of serious health issues. These practices also can offer comfort and support if and when a person needs to navigate difficult times.

Sleep apnea treatment lowers rehospitalization for heart problems in older adults

A 2022 study found that older adults with sleep apnea who are hospitalized for cardiovascular disease are far less likely to be rehospitalized within 30 days if they consistently treat their apnea with CPAP therapy, which keeps the airway open during sleep.

U.S. adults like integrative medicine, but few discuss it with their doctors

A 2022 poll found that two-thirds of Americans ages 50 to 80 use integrative medicine, but many don’t talk to their doctor about it. Respondents used massage, yoga, meditation, and other integrative techniques to address physical and mental health conditions.

Adding strength training to aerobic exercise may fuel longevity

A 2022 study found that people who did at least two sessions of strength training as well as 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week were 30% less likely to die during an eight-year study period, compared with people who did less strength training.

It’s not too late to save thinning hair

Treatment for hair loss depends on the type of hair loss a person is experiencing. Sudden hair loss often gets better on its own once an underlying condition is treated. Gradual hair thinning caused by aging or genetics may stop or start to reverse with topical medications, oral medications, supplements, laser light treatments, or injections of platelet-rich plasma. And for any of these approaches, the key is starting them as soon as hair loss is detected. Once hair follicles stop working, the only option to restore hair is hair transplant surgery.

Bladder problems that warrant a doctor’s visit

Bladder problems in women can increase due to childbirth, menopause, and aging. Additional contributors to bladder symptoms include weight gain, pelvic organ prolapse, and the types of beverages people drink, as well as how much and how often. Women should see a doctor about increasing leakage, urgency, frequency, or nighttime urination; cloudy or strong-smelling urine; pain or burning while urinating; pain during sex; or lower abdominal pain.

Don’t be the fall guy

Every second, someone age 65 or older suffers a fall, making it the No. 1 cause of injury-related death among this age group. The best way for older adults to protect themselves is to address the three main physical conditions that contribute to falls: weak stabilizer muscles, poor core strength, and balance issues. They can do this by improving their side-to-side motion through specific exercises and playing racquet sports, doing abdominal exercises, and practicing tai chi.

Can these approaches really improve memory?

Scientists are studying two novel approaches to improve memory. One approach centers on molecules in the blood and spinal fluid that appear to help improve memory. So far, experiments have been limited to lab animals. Another approach involves exposing the brain to electrical currents. A study in humans, published online Aug. 22, 2022, by the journal Nature Neuroscience, found that electrical stimulation directed at specific areas of the brain improved both working memory and long-term memory for at least a month.

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