Do you feel old? Do you have any of these 12 signs of aging?

Even if we are always getting older and living longer thanks to various medical advances and better hygiene in recent decades, it is clear that with age the “body machine” suffers from some failures. A better understanding of human physiology and the negative forces affecting the body makes it possible to work on prevention.

For example, regular exercise helps prevent rheumatism and improves cardiovascular health. Not smoking protects lung health. A healthy diet protects against high blood pressure, diabetes, vision loss and the risk of cancer.

1. Less hair, dry and wrinkled skin

Because of low testosterone production, but also genetic reasons, many men lose their hair with age, especially on the top of the head. As melanin production decreases, hair color turns white or gray.

Women can also lose their hair, but much less often than men. As the years go by, the skin also tends to be thinner, due to reduced collagen and elastin production. This leads to more inflammation, drying of the skin and the formation of wrinkles.

2. Low lung capacity

The number of alveoli decreases in the blood vessels at the level of the lung. This reduces oxygen uptake during inhalation. Breathing becomes more difficult, especially after exertion or in the mountains.

With age, the efficiency of the respiratory muscles decreases. This increases the difficulties faced by the elderly in carrying out intense physical activities and efforts. Likewise, immunity decreases as the body’s defense mechanisms decline. The lungs are therefore more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections.

3. The liver shrinks in size and filters less

From the age of 20 to 90, the liver loses volume from 20 to 40%. Impairment of secretory function and this leads in particular to difficulty in the metabolism of some drugs. This means eliminating them in the liver. Thus it is possible that the same dose of medicine that has no side effects in younger people can cause side effects in older people. Just like the lung, the liver becomes less resistant over the years. The regeneration of hepatocytes is increasingly slowing down.

4. Decreased sense of smell and increased nose hair

The coating at the level of the gills becomes thinner and drier, especially from the age of 50. One of the results of this change is to reduce the perception of some smells. Age also promotes hair growth in the nose and sometimes on the ear flap.

5. Hearing fade: “Huh? What are you saying?”

As we age, we no longer hear certain high-pitched sounds. We know, for example, that high-pitched sounds can only be heard by 20-year-olds and not by those 40 or older. Gradually, over the years, we also hear bass sounds less. In addition, there is a greater buildup of wax which leads to hearing problems.

6. Dry mouth, the taste is gone

Saliva production decreases, resulting in more dry mouth. The sensitivity of taste buds to sweet and salty foods decreases with age. We can also see receding gums due to decreased oral muscle mass.

7. Weak heart and high blood pressure

With age, the heart muscle naturally loses its strength. This mechanically reduces blood pumping. With the accumulation of fat, especially in the coronary arteries, the risk of developing myocardial infarction increases compared to younger people. Low heart muscle also leads to high blood pressure. Another important cause of myocardial infarction, but also stroke. Note that the tendency to hypertrophy affects men more than women and that regular physical activity can slow down the process.

8. Lower pancreas, increased risk of diabetes

The pancreas produces less insulin with age. This leads to poor glucose entry into cells and a definite increase in the risk of developing diabetes (type 2).

9. Rheumatism: pain in the joints

The structure of cartilage tends to deteriorate with age. This may lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis, particularly osteoarthritis of the knee. The hands and arms can also be affected by osteoarthritis, especially in women. In addition, ligaments and tendons lose their elasticity over the years, which increases the risk of tearing and rupture (such as tendinitis).

10. Sexual activity and genitals at half mast

A man more frequently suffers from erectile dysfunction and also feels a decrease in desire, due in particular to a decrease in testosterone production. Other age-related causes such as diabetes and high blood pressure promote erectile dysfunction. Decreased sex hormones in women at menopause often lead to vaginal dryness and decreased libido, and in men the size of the prostate tends to increase. This particularly leads to benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by pain and difficulty urinating. In women, the breast becomes less firm due to the decrease in fibrous tissue.

11. Lazy eyes

We know that with age, the lens becomes stiffer, which gradually blurs vision. The risk of developing glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness, also increases with age. Certain disturbances also occur over the years, such as great difficulty distinguishing nearby objects and colours. Likewise, it may become more difficult to see in the dark, to adapt to light, especially reflections, and to restore normal vision after exposure to bright light. A decrease in visual acuity can also come from deterioration of the tear ducts, resulting in dry eyes.

12. The Brain: Less Blood, More Forgetting

Blood flow in the brain decreases with age and the number of cells such as neurons decreases. From the age of 70, it becomes more and more common to have memory problems. We also know that over the years, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases sharply. Some of the most common signs of brain deterioration include decreased alertness, memory loss, and loss of concentration.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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