UNDERSTANDING URINARY INCONTINENCE IN OLDER ADULTS
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination as the natural result of aging. Urinary incontinence in older adults can be challenging for both the individual and caregivers. It is a common problem, especially among those who are growing older. Many people assume that urinary incontinence is only a problem for women, but this isn’t true. In fact, urinary incontinence affects men and women equally regardless of age or gender. Studies show that almost 30% of adults over the age of 65 experience some form of urinary incontinence at least once a month. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about urinary incontinence in older adults so you can make informed decisions if such circumstances arise in your life.
Urinary incontinence is different from having a full bladder and needing to urinate. Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine that can happen during any activity that involves pressure on the abdomen.
TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE
Stress incontinence: It occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, such as during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects.
Urge incontinence: It happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet.
Overflow incontinence: It happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full.
CAUSES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE
Urinary incontinence is most often caused by a change in the normal function of the bladder, kidneys, or sphincter muscles.
- Weak bladder or pelvic floor muscles
- Overactive bladder muscles
- Damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease
- Prostatitis, a painful inflammation of the prostate gland
- Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, stroke, and medications.
Urinary incontinence is difficult for older adults to manage because it is often caused by a combination of factors. If one of these factors is not treated, the individual’s symptoms can worsen. This can create a challenging situation for caregivers. When the frequency is increasing and if it is affecting your lifestyle significantly, then it’s time to visit your doctor for clinical care & attention.
Dr. Kalyan Kumar AV
MBBS, MS, DNB
Consultant Urologist & Andrologist, Star Hospitals
For Appointments, Call: 040 44 77 77 00