Presse Santé

Do you feel old? Do You Have Any of These 12 Signs of Aging?

While we’re aging better and living longer thanks to various medical advances and better general hygiene over the last few decades, the “body machine” clearly suffers from certain breakdowns as we age. A better understanding of human physiology and the negative forces at work in the body makes it possible to act preventively.

For example, regular exercise helps prevent rheumatism and improve cardiovascular health. Quitting smoking protects lung health. Eating a healthy diet protects against high blood pressure, diabetes, vision loss and the risk of cancer.

1. Less hair and dry, wrinkled skin

Due to decreasing testosterone production, but also due to genetics, many men lose their hair with increasing age, especially on the top of their head. When melanin production decreases, hair turns white or gray.

Women can also lose their hair, but much less frequently than men. Skin also tends to thin over the years as collagen and elastin production decreases. This leads to more infections, dry skin and wrinkling.

2. Less lung capacity

The number of alveoli of the capillary vessels at the lung level decreases. This reduces oxygen uptake during inspiration. Breathing becomes more complicated, especially after exertion or in the mountains.

With increasing age, the respiratory muscles become less and less efficient. This increases older people’s difficulty in engaging in intense physical exertion and activity. Likewise, immunity is lower with the decline in the body’s defense mechanisms. The lungs are therefore more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections.

3. The liver shrinks and filters less well

Between the ages of 20 and 90, the liver loses 20 to 40% of its volume. The secretory function is impaired, which leads in particular to a more difficult metabolism of certain drugs. That means eliminating them through the liver. So it is possible that the same dose of a drug that has no side effects in a younger person can cause side effects in an older person. Just like the lungs, the liver becomes less resilient over the years. The renewal of the liver cells takes place increasingly slowly.

4. Less sense of smell and more nose hair

Especially from the age of 50, the coating at the level of the nostrils becomes thinner and drier. One of the consequences of this change is the reduced perception of certain smells. Age also encourages the development of hair on the nose and sometimes on the ear flaps.

5. Decreased hearing: “Huh? what are you saying? »

As we get older, we no longer hear certain very high-pitched sounds. We know, for example, that very high tones are only audible from 20 and not from 40. Gradually, over the years, we also hear the bass sounds less well. In addition, there is a greater accumulation of waxes that lead to hearing problems.

6. Dry mouth, the taste disappears

Saliva production decreases, leading to more dry mouth. The sensitivity of the taste buds to sweet and salty things decreases with age. We can also see gum retraction due to the decrease in muscle mass of the mouth.

7. Weak heart and high blood pressure

With increasing age, the heart muscle naturally loses strength. This mechanically reduces the pumping of the blood. With the accumulation of fat, especially in the coronary arteries, the risk of heart attack is increased compared to younger people. Decreased heart muscle also leads to high blood pressure. Another important cause of heart attack, but also stroke. Note that the tendency to hypertrophy affects men more than women and that engaging in regular physical activity can slow the process.

8. Pancreas down, diabetes risk up

As you age, the pancreas produces less insulin. This results in poorer sugar entry into the cells and a proven increase in the risk of diabetes (type 2).

9. Rheumatism: Pain in the joints

The structure of cartilage tends to deteriorate with age. This can lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis, particularly osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis can also affect the hands and arms, especially in women. Also, ligaments and tendons lose elasticity over the years, increasing the risk of tears and tears (e.g. tendonitis).

10. Sexuality and genitals at half-staff

The man suffers from erectile dysfunction more often and he also feels a decrease in desire, which is caused in particular by the decrease in testosterone production. Other age-related causes such as diabetes and high blood pressure favor erectile dysfunction. In women, the drop in sex hormones during menopause often leads to vaginal dryness and reduced sexual desire, while in men the volume of the prostate tends to increase. In particular, this leads to benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by pain and difficulty urinating. In women, breasts become less firm due to a decrease in connective tissue.

11. Lazy eyes

We know that the lens becomes stiffer with age, which gradually impairs vision. The risk of glaucoma, a disease that can lead to blindness, also increases with age. Certain disorders also appear over the years, such as B. Greater difficulty distinguishing nearby objects and colors. Likewise, it may become more difficult to see in the dark, adjust to light, especially reflections, and regain normal vision after exposure to blinding light. The decrease in visual acuity can also result from a deterioration in the tear ducts, leading to dry eyes.

12. Brain: less blood, more forgetfulness

Blood flow to the brain decreases with age, as does the number of cells such as neurons. From the age of 70, memory problems are more common. We also know that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases sharply over the years. Some of the most common signs of brain decline are decreased alertness, amnesia, and loss of concentration.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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