I love being this age...I'm wiser (that's not hard...), drama-free, sincerely self-confident (no pretending to not care what people I hardly know think of me...I really like me now so I genuinely don't care if someone doesn't, unless I've grown to value his/her opinion), calmer, and generally the best person inside and out I've ever been (that includes no more monthly cramps, mess, & bloating from a long gone menstrual cycle...).
Youth is vastly overrated; I don't pine for it (those poor folks who peaked in high school or college...) nor do I value it more than age.
The following 5 conditions are likely to occur once you've reached a certain age (eg over 50), all remediable if you stay alert for them:
You've seen the commercials about this painful skin rash which occurs when the virus that caused chickenpox during childhood returns for round two. Before age 50, the chance of developing shingles is just 1-2% but after 50, that chance nearly doubles to 2-3%.
What to do: Get vaccinated unless you are allergic to the antibiotic neomycin or any component of the vaccine (including gelatin), or have a weakened immune system (usually caused by treatments that use radiation or corticosteroids, or due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer of the lymph, bone, or blood. Most insurances cover it, but if uninsured the cost is $200-$300. If you already have it or think you might, see a doctor immediately as the most effective treatment is anti-viral medication used within 72 hours of an outbreak.
Most common among those hitting middle age, this benign version common to age is a sensation of dizziness most likely caused by natural aging or a head trauma that lodges tiny crystals into the wrong area of the ear, which then send bad information to the brain that knocks off your sense of balance.
What to do: get tested by an ear, nose and throat specialist to rule out more-extreme causes such as a tumor or stroke; iIf correctly diagnosed, benign positional vertigo is treatable at home using one of three "maneuvers," Epley. Semont, or Foster.
- Weakened Depth Perception
We've become quite accustomed to a pair of reading glasses in every room, but we're not aware that our depth perception can also change with age, and it can be dangerous (research shows that as depth perception begins to deteriorate, one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers is a left turn in traffic).
As vision deteriorates over time, eyes can become less symmetrical. For instance, one eye might see things near while the other sees far. This difference affects depth perception.
What to do: have your eyes checked regularly...don't wait until you've had an accident to discover eye-trouble.
This is that ringing, buzzing, hissing, sizzling sound in your ears and it's fairly common among Boomers as a result of our youthful love of loud rock and roll. The condition can last for a week to several years.
Tinnitus is related to high-frequency hearing loss, and is cumulative. The ringing of the ears makes up for the absence of sound, and once you hear a ring, it's likely to recur.
What to do: Unfortunately there isn't a treatment for tinnitus, but once you've developed full-blown hearing loss and start wearing hearing aids, there's a 50-70% chance of recovering from tinnitus. If you have it but no hearing loss, background "white noise" helps to draw attention away from the internal racket (I have tinnitus and this works well for me).
To prevent the condition, wear earplugs/ear protection whenever you're exposed to lout activities (like concerts or visiting a shooting range).
- Menopausal Acne
Great, just when we're getting hot-flashes and night sweats as we go through meopause, some of us also get teen-ager-like oily skin and red bumps.Just like teen-age acne is caused by hormonal changes, menopause causes estrogen levels to drop and testosterone-like compounds to form, causing acne. Menopausal acne might not be as severe as a teenager's, but it could last as long as one to two years. You need not have had acne as a teen to get it now.
What to do: Retinoids, more commonly known as Retin-A, help prevent and deal with acne. In addition to reducing puffy oil glands, the topical medicine also combats fine lines, wrinkles and skin cancers (nice side-effect!).
You have been officially alerted.
Enjoy retirement, which I'm sure you'll handle like true Boomers...
we look forward to your second act.