Many of us can expect our bodies to experience physical changes as we grow older; one of those changes is having an overactive bladder. There’s no need for adults or their caregivers to be uncomfortable about this information. In fact, one in six adults has it.
What is Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder is also referred to as incontinence. By definition, an overactive bladder can cause an immediate feeling of “having to go.” In a person having OAB, the urethra and the detrusor muscle can be unstable or mildly uncoordinated.
What are the Different Types?
Urge incontinence may cause sufferers to scurry to the nearest restroom to seek bladder relief. The bladder spasms regardless of the volume of urine it contains. This might lead to wetting accidents. Wearever’s underwear can help maintain dryness and your dignity.
Other times, the bladder can leak when we sneeze or cough. Laughing can also cause accidental spurts of urine to be released. Although these things are not overwhelming for us, stress incontinence results from weakened pelvic muscle control.
Some of us may feel that the urge to urinate never ceases, even shortly after we’ve already gone to the restroom. The bladder seems to behave like a water fountain. This is exactly what seems to happen with overflow incontinence.
Mixed bladder symptoms occur when people experience symptoms of urge, stress, and overflow incontinence. It’s important to consult your urologist so he or she can stay informed. A person with mixed or overflow incontinence may develop urinary tract infections more frequently.
Why does Overactive Bladder Develop?
For women, overactive urinary function symptoms can manifest themselves because trauma occurs near the bladder area such as surgery, or childbirth. At the onset of menopause, hormonal changes can contribute to a “leaky faucet.”
Although bladder issues for men can happen less often, it’s still not uncommon. After the age of 40, the prostate can enlarge and possibly contribute to the development of an overactive bladder. Medical experts have also suggested that a lack of vitamin D may cause overactive bladder in both genders.
Additionally, neurological disorders or a brain injury can result in an overactive bladder. This means that neurological impairments caused by a stroke, Cerebral Palsy or Multiple Sclerosis may mean having bladder problems. Still, many cases exist with no urinary dysfunction.
What is the Treatment?
The InterStim procedure allows users to control electronic signals to the sacral area of the spine to help decrease bladder malfunction. A wire is first inserted under local anesthetic on a trial basis. Wiring is replaced surgically every five years.
Urologists can also position an internal “sling” around the bladder’s detrusor muscle. Placing the sling can take several attempts before the patient feels comfortable. Surgery is typically the last resort for more severe urinary problems.