Medical Library

  • Arrythmia - Irregular Heart Beat

    Arrhythmias are abnormalities in the rate or rhythm, or both, of the heartbeat. These abnormalities occur with increasing frequency as one ages. Under normal circumstances, the heartbeat is regular in its timing, and the heart rate falls into somewhat narrow limits of numbers of heartbeats per minute. The heart rate increases with exercise.
  • Aortic Aneurysm - Abnormal Weakness in the Aortic Artery

    An aneurysm is an abnormal dilatation (enlargement) in an artery. The dilatation occurs because of a weakness in the wall of the artery. These weak areas are subject to rupture, with disastrous consequences. Besides rupturing, these enlargements may cause pressure on other organs or on nerves, or they may develop a clot, called a thrombosis. The risk of the aneurysm varies with its location and the likelihood that it may rupture. Size is an indication of the likelihood of rupture. Larger aneurysms are at greater risk of rupture.
  • B12 Deficiency

    A deficiency in vitamin B12 is a relatively common occurrence in the elderly. This deficiency may occur for a number of different reasons. One form of this deficiency is called pernicious anemia. This occurs when changes in the stomach prevent the absorption of the vitamin. 
  • Arthritis of the Wrist and Hands

    Wear and tear takes a toll on all of our joints; the joints used most are the most susceptible. Osteoarthritis is common in the wrist and hand. In addition to generalized arthritis, damage occurs in individual joints in the hand and wrist because of the frequent performance of a particular task. For example, knitting and crocheting are particularly hard on the joint at the base of the thumb.
  • BPH - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

    General Information Enlargement of the prostate gland is an expected phenomenon of aging in men. This is called benign prostatic hypertrophy and is...
  • Cateracts

    Cataracts are areas of clouding or opacity in the lens of the eye. If they are large enough or are located strategically in the visual path, they may reduce visual acuity. Although some cataracts that form are not part of the aging process and may occur at any age, there are cataracts that come with growing old. The first of the age-related changes may begin as early as age 40. The speed with which cataracts develop and their extent remain highly variable from person to person. The development of cataracts often causes a problem with glare.
  • Changes in Eye Sight

    Between the extremes of vision that are normal (or can be corrected to near normal with eyeglasses) and blindness, there is a problem called low vision. Every effort should be made to ensure that all reversible aspects of visual change are treated in patients who suffer from low vision. The vision that remains forms the baseline from which the patient and the caregiver must work.
  • Cholesterol in General

    Cholesterol and the associated problems that it causes in arterial blood vessels are a concern of adults living in developed countries. It is a preventable and treatable cause of vascular disease. The first changes in the walls of the arteries begin to occur in the teenage years. Many seniors feel that by their fifties, the benefits of preventive treatment are trivial. This is not true. Benefits from dietary reduction in cholesterol accrue to both the older and younger patient.
  • Clearing Lungs

    The cough is the body’s way of ridding the upper lung passages and the throat of foreign matter. It helps to get rid of secretions and particles as well. Most of us cough in response to a reflex or to a sensation that we have something to get rid of from our respiratory tree. The changes caused by aging may affect the ability of these mechanisms to work. Coughing becomes less frequent, and problems may occur
  • Cholesterol Lowering

    Most people eat from a somewhat restricted dietary selection. They eat a traditional, customary, or habitual diet. In the United States, this customary fare has long included large amounts of animal fat in such foods as eggs, milk, butter, pork, and beef. Most people tolerate this diet extremely well. Nonetheless, large numbers of people face the problem of elevated levels of blood cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol levels may cause premature development of hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis, and the associated problems of heart attack and stroke.
  • Dementia - Memory Loss

    Dementia is a disorder of the brain. It involves the loss of memory and other mental functions. It can result from many different causes and can vary in its severity from patient to patient.
  • Delirium - Confused Thinking

    Delirium is one of several causes of confusion. It is particularly common in elderly patients. Delirium causes consciousness to become clouded. Impaired awareness of the surrounding environment occurs. This may be as minor as simple misinterpretations and inattention or as severe as frank hallucinations. Patients often seem confused or disoriented as to time or place and may have visual or auditory hallucinations. Memory may be impaired. Sleep is often disturbed. Delirium develops quickly, typically within hours to days.