Aging is the natural physiological continuous process of changes that begins in adulthood. It also explains a decrease in biological functions and adaptation of an organism’s ability to metabolic stress. It happens in all cells, an organ, and a whole organism gradually.
What is Gerontology: the aging study?
Gerontology is the physical, mental, and social aspects of aging. It also studies the changes in society from an aging population. It allows us, to apply different skills for the improvement of the aging process in older adults. We also study the application of this aging knowledge to different programs and policies.
Aging in different terms:
It affects hair and skin both. It creates new hair follicles; hair follicles are small pores from where new hair grows. Follicles maintain the thickness of hair and prevent the premature falling of hair.
- Chronological age is a person’s age in years. As a person grows older he faces many health problems, rather than normal aging.
- Biological age is a change in the body as people age. It will affect some people early than others. It is caused by lifestyle and habits.
- Psychological aging refers to how people act and feel. For example, 70 years older man who participates in many activities and work is considered psychologically younger than others.
What changes occur in the body with age?
Aging changes occurs in everyone’s life, and are unavoidable. For example, as people grow older these eyes lenses become thicker and they have less focus on closer objects. This change happens in nearly all older people. As people grow older they may develop certain disorders. Losing teeth is a normal process but regular flossing and brushing reduce its chance. In older age reduction in mental health is common; it includes difficulty in learning new things such as increased forgetfulness. They misplace things and also forget things. Some people also have dementia. These people face difficulty in doing normal functioning for example driving, cooking, etc). The blood sugar level in some people is also increased and causes diabetes.
What happens in cells ?
Older cells die by the process of apoptosis and give new space to a new cell. Genes can control older cell death, they online divide limited time. A structure called telomere controls the transfer of genetic material in cell division. Telomere shortens a bit when cells divide. Gradually it is so much short that a cell stops dividing .this are called senescence. Sometimes cell death is sudden because of radiation, environmental stress, accident, etc.
How does aging affect different body organs?
In our body, some older cells are not functioning properly. When a cell dies in some body organs it cannot be replaced. That is why cell numbers may decrease. For example, as you grow older number of cells in the kidneys, liver, ovaries, and testes decreases. Less number of cells in an organ affects its functioning. In contrast, some organ in the body does not lose a large number of cells for example brain is one example. Unless a condition called Alzheimer disease occurs.
The first sign is a change in the musculoskeletal system. In mid-life eyes and ears change and before 30 some internal changes are also occurring in the body. Most organs in our body remain unaffected because they have a large number of functional capacities. For example, if half of our liver is damaged due to some disease then the other half is enough to perform proper functioning.Older people are less able to handle stress. They may experience the side effects of medication. Their heart, kidney, arteries, etc are not performed well in stress conditions.
How does it affect bones and joints?
Bone density decreases with aging. Osteopenia (moderate loss of bone density) and osteoporosis (excess loss of bone density causes fracture). In women, bone density loss speedily after menopause because estrogen level decreases. Estrogen helps in the reforming of bone and also prevents it from breakdown.
Swallowing is more difficult due to changes in vertebrae structure. Older people become shorter because of shorter spines. Their vertebrae lose fluid making them less dense.Ligament and tendon become less elastic making joint tight and less active
How does Aging affect muscles and body fats?
Muscle strength and muscle tissue tend to decrease at age 30. Lack of physical activity and less growth hormone also affects the muscles. At age75, the fat amount is double as compared to younger people and may cause health issues like diabetes. Regular exercise and physical activity decrease the risk of muscle stiffness.
How does Aging affect on eyes?
In old age, the pupil reacts more slowly to light and the eye lens becomes denser making it difficult to see in dim light. Eyes are dry due to less fluid. Color perceptions of eyes are changed. An amount of fat is lost around the eye that’s why the eye may appear to sink into the head.
How does it affect the ears?
Older people have difficulty hearing even loud the sound because most consonants are high-pitched and vowels are low-pitched. Consonants are words that help people to identify sounds. Thick hair may grow out of the ear.
How does Aging affect on mouth and nose?
As people grow older their sense of taste decreases, they only taste 5 senses (sweet, sour, bitter, and salt). taste buds decrease in sensitivity.Their mouth is often dry, because of less saliva. Teeth enamel is damaged and their teeth are more exposed to bacteria and particles. So cavities and tooth decay are more common in older people. If you spend much more time in the sun, it can damage your skin. It causes sunburn and also increases the chance of skin cancer
How does Aging affect the skin?
As you grow older your skin becomes less elastic and thinner, drier, and wrinkled. Skin lost its collagen and elastin that’s why skin tears more easily. The fatty layer under the skin becomes thin. Sweat gland and blood vessels decrease.
How does Aging affect the digestive system?
In older age food emptied more slowly from the stomach. They produce intolerance to dairy products. Some people may experience constipation and diarrhea more often. Liver size becomes small, it does not produce the proper enzymes.
How does Aging affect the immune system?
In old age, immune system cells act more slowly. Cancer is more common in old age. The vaccine has less effect on this age, some common infection like influenza is more common.
Life expectancy :
Due to a healthy lifestyle, awareness, and physical activities average lifestyle has increased dramatically. Some factor plays a key role in life span, which is described below:
- Heredity: People who inherit healthy genes have long life span than those with defective genes. For example, if a person has genes, which increase the risk of high cholesterol levels have a short life span, And if a person inherits the gene of cancer with having a longer life span. This explains that living a very long life will run in families.
- Lifestyle: Healthy lifestyle, exercise, avoiding alcohol, smoking, and taking better sleep is also having an effect on life span.
- Toxic environment: It affects all people even with the best genetic makeup and decreases their life span.
- Health care: Proper visits to doctors and carefully taking medication for a disorder increase the life span
To get more information about health issue please click here