Take The Aging Quiz

Take The Aging Quiz

Should YOU take the aging quiz?

Look at the answers below and add up your yes and no answers.  You can read more about regular symptoms of aging below.  Click on this test to download the Aging Quiz PDF and print it out.

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Some typical changes to expect as you age include:

1. Cardiovascular system
Over time, your heart muscle becomes a less efficient pump, working
harder to pump the same amount of blood through your body. Also,
your blood vessels become less elastic. Hardened fatty deposits may
form on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis), narrowing the
passageway through the vessels. The natural loss of elasticity, in
combination with atherosclerosis, makes your arteries stiffer, causing
your heart to work even harder to pump blood through them. This can
lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). Take The Aging Quiz
2. Bones, muscles and joints
Your bones reach their maximum mass between ages 25 and 35. As
you age, your bones shrink in size and density. One consequence is
that you might become shorter. Gradual loss of density weakens your
bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Muscles,
tendons and joints generally lose some strength and flexibility as you
age. Take The Aging Quiz
3. Digestive system
Swallowing and the motions that automatically move digested food
through your intestines slow down as you get older. The amount of
surface area within your intestines diminishes slightly. The flow of
secretions from your stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine may
decrease. These changes generally don’t disrupt your digestive
process, so you may never notice them. You may notice constipation. Take The Aging Quiz
4. Kidneys, bladder and urinary tract
With age, your kidneys become less efficient in removing waste from
your bloodstream. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood
pressure, and some medications can damage your kidneys further.
About 30% of people age 65 and older experience a loss of bladder
control (urinary incontinence). Incontinence can be caused by a
number of health problems, such as obesity, frequent constipation
and chronic cough.
Women are more likely than men to have incontinence. Women who’ve
been through menopause might experience stress incontinence as the
muscles around the opening of the bladder (the sphincter muscles)
lose strength and bladder reflexes change. As estrogen levels
decline, the tissue lining the tube through which urine passes
(urethra) becomes thinner. Pelvic muscles become weaker, reducing
bladder support.
In older men, incontinence is sometimes caused by an enlarged
prostate, which can block the urethra. This makes it difficult to empty
your bladder and can cause small amounts of urine to leak. Take The Aging Quiz
5. Brain and nervous system
The number of cells (neurons) in your brain decreases with age, and
your memory becomes less efficient. However, in some areas of your
brain, the number of connections between the cells increases,
perhaps helping to compensate for the aging neurons and maintain
brain function. Your reflexes tend to become slower. You also tend to
become less coordinated. Take The Aging Quiz
6. Eyes
With age, your eyes are less able to produce tears, your retinas thin,
and your lenses gradually turn yellow and become less clear. In your
40s, focusing on objects that are close up may become more difficult.
Later, the colored portions of your eyes (irises) stiffen, making your
pupils less responsive. This can make it more difficult to adapt to
different levels of light. Other changes to your lenses can make you
sensitive to glare, which presents a problem when driving at night.
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are the most common
problems of aging eyes. Take The Aging Quiz
7. Ears
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting adults
who are middle-aged and older. One in three people older than 60 and
half of all people older than 85 have significant hearing loss. Over the
years, sounds and noise can damage the hair cells of your inner ears.
Also, the walls of your auditory canals thin, and your eardrums
thicken. You may have difficulty hearing high frequencies. Some
people find it difficult to follow a conversation in a crowded room.
Changes in the inner ear or in the nerves attached to it, earwax
buildup and various diseases can all affect your hearing. Take The Aging Quiz
8. Teeth
How your teeth and gums respond to age depends on how well
you’ve cared for them over the years. But even if you’re meticulous
about brushing and flossing, you may notice that your mouth feels
drier and your gums have pulled back (receded). Your teeth may
darken slightly & become more brittle & easier to break.
Most adults can keep their natural teeth all of their lives. But with
less saliva to wash away bacteria, your teeth and gums become
slightly more vulnerable to decay and infection. If you’ve lost most
or all of your natural teeth, you might use dentures or dental
implants as a replacement.
Some older adults experience dry mouth (xerostomia), which can
lead to tooth decay and infection. Dry mouth can also make
speaking, swallowing and tasting difficult. Oral cancer is more
common among older adults. Your dentist checks for oral cancer
when you go for regular cleanings and checkups. Take The Aging Quiz
9. Skin, nails and hair
With age, your skin thins and becomes less elastic and more
fragile. You’ll likely notice that you bruise more easily. Decreased
production of natural oils may make your skin drier and more
wrinkled. Age spots can occur, and skin tags are more common.
Your nails grow at about half the pace they once did. Your hair may
gray and thin. In addition, you likely perspire less — making it
harder to stay cool in high temperatures and putting you at
increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
How fast your skin ages depends on many factors. The most
significant factor is sun exposure over the years. The more sun
your skin has been exposed to, the more damage you may attain.
Smoking adds to skin damage, such as wrinkles. Skin cancer also
is a concern as you age. You have a 40% to 50% chance of getting
skin cancer at least once by the time you reach 65. Take The Aging Quiz
10. Sleep
Sleep needs change little throughout adulthood. If you need six
hours of sleep nightly, chances are you’ll always need six hours —
give or take 30 minutes. However, as you age, you’ll likely find that
you sleep less soundly, meaning you’ll need to spend more time in
bed to get the same amount of sleep. By age 75, some people find
that they’re waking up several times each night. Take The Aging Quiz
11. Weight
As you age, maintaining a healthy weight — or losing weight if
you’re overweight — may be more difficult. Your metabolism
generally slows, meaning that your body burns fewer calories.
Calories that were once used to meet your daily energy needs
instead are stored as fat. Your level of activity may decrease,
resulting in unwanted weight gain. Take The Aging Quiz
12. Sexuality
With age, sexual needs, patterns and performance may change.
Women’s vaginas tend to shrink and narrow, and the walls become
less elastic. Vaginal dryness is a problem. All of this can make sex
painful.
Impotence becomes more common in men as they age. By the time
they’re 65, up to one in four men have difficulty getting or keeping
an erection about one in every four times they have sex. In others,
it may take longer to get an erection, and it may not be as firm as it
used to be.Take The Aging Quiz

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1998-2008 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research(MFMER)

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this flier is for
educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose and treat any health disorder or disease. This flier presents informationand research which is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All serious health conditions should be treated by
a competent health practitioner. Neither the publisher nor the author of this flier in any way dispense medical advice, prescribe
remedies, or assume responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves. 

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