Urinary Incontinence in the Elderly
As men become older, they may be troubled with urinary incontinence, an involuntary passage of leakage from the bladder. This condition can be the result of a number of different causes, and can be both troublesome and embarrassing. Experts believe up to 11 percent of older men deal with incontinence on a daily basis. Many men are reluctant to discuss the matter with their doctors, but a number of solutions are available to help urinary incontinence. Here are some facts about urinary incontinence and what you can do to help the problem.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Men
Any condition that causes weakness in the muscles that control bladder release can result in incontinence problems. Obesity, some medications, chronic cough, an enlarged prostate gland or neurological damage are common issues. Urinary tract infections can cause transient incontinence problems. Sometimes, several of these causes may exist at the same time.
Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
The symptoms of incontinence can present in a number of ways. Some men experience urge incontinence, with a sudden need to urinate immediately. Others may have overflow incontinence, when the bladder becomes full and spills out on its own. Men may also experience leakage when they cough or lift something heavy. Functional incontinence can occur when physical disability or communication difficulties prevent individuals from getting to the bathroom in time.
Treatments for Urinary Incontinence
Your doctor will investigate the cause of urinary incontinence in order to determine the right treatment to correct the problem. You may be advised to limit your fluid intake or go to the bathroom on a set schedule to reduce the risk of incontinence. Your doctor may provide information on pelvic muscle exercises that will strengthen the muscles involved in urination. Medications can help to reduce urgency. A number of products are available to manage incontinence, such as absorbent pads, urine collection bags or catheters to drain urine from the bladder periodically. Exterior clamps, such as the Wiesner clamp, can be used to prevent dribbling from the bladder. The Wiesner clamp can be used comfortably and effectively for incontinence issues. Surgery is sometimes needed to correct structural issues in the bladder that result in urinary incontinence, but this is generally done as a last resort.
If you are experiencing involuntary release of urine from the bladder, have a frank talk with your doctor about the problem. A thorough physical examination with lab work could uncover problems that are related to these symptoms. Your physician can advise you on treatments for incontinence that would best suit your individual needs.