Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control or the leakage of urine. It can happen to anyone, but is very common in older people. It is a condition that ranges from mild leakage to uncontrollable and embarrassing wetting. Urinary incontinence is a major health problem because it can lead to disability and dependency.
Many people with incontinence pull away from their family and friends. They try to hide the problem from everyone, even their doctors. The good news is that in most cases urinary incontinence can be treated and controlled., if not cured.
Incontinence does not happen because of ageing. It may be caused by changes in your body due to disease. For example, incontinence may be the first and only symptom of a urinary tract infection. Curing the infection may relieve or cure the problem. Some drugs may cause incontinence or make it worse. Modern products and ways of managing incontinence can ease their discomfort and inconvenience.
Types of Incontinence:
The most common types of urinary incontinence are:
Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or other body movements that put pressure on the bladder. It is the most common type of incontinence and can almost always be cured.
Urge incontinence happens if you can’t hold your urine long enough to reach a toilet. Although healthy people can have urge incontinence, it is often found in people who have diabetes, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. It can also be a warning sign of early bladder cancer. In men, it is often a sign of an enlarged prostate.
Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. In older men, this can occur when the flow of urine from the bladder is blocked. Some people with diabetes also have this problem.
Functional incontinence happens in many older people who have relatively normal urine control but who have a hard time getting to the toilet in time because of arthritis or other crippling disorders.