As a man gets older, he starts facing some health-related issues. Health issues among men are more varied than what most people think; however, some issues are more common than the others. The most common being that of the urinary tract system and reproductive organs. In this case, visiting a urologist, an expert specialising in this field, is a must. Here are five common signs a man should not neglect:
Erectile dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve an erect penis, it affects up to 30% – 50% of men between the age of 40-70 years. It hampers sexual performance, affects intimacy and sexual desires. It is important to consult a urologist, as it may be a sign of a bigger health issue such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, renal failure, and many others. Fixing the problem in the early stages can help prevent bigger problem, and men should not be ashamed about discussing this problem.
Leaking urine: An Overactive Bl adder (OAB) or Urinary Incontinence (UI) is something no man or woman would wish to experience. Around 11 – 16 percent of men experience OAB as they get old. Some of the causes include an enlarged prostate, that may disrupt the flow of urine from the Urethra, damaged & overactive bladder muscles, and nerve damage. Through lifestyle modifications, medical and surgical treatments, the condition can be controlled.
Blood in the urine: Recognised as hematuria, it should be brought to the notice of a Urologist immediately. It could possibly be an early warning sign of bladder or kidney cancer. Whether cancer or not, the specialist can find the root cause of blood in the urine, through urine tests, X-rays or CT scan and a cystoscopy (using a Fiberoptic Scope to see inside the bladder). Even if this is an off and on the situation, it needs instant assessment and treatment.
Testicular pain, lumps or mass: Experiencing pain in either of the testicles for two or more weeks, or a feeling of mass, firmness or existing nodules, is a sign to see a urologist right away. It could be a sign of testicular cancer, get it checked immediately to allow early detection. This cancer is curable if it gets detected in time.
Difficult and painful urination: Infections often caused by bacteria and can occur in any part of the urinary tract. Seeking help from a urologist can determine the actual cause and suggest targeted treatment. Although not life-threatening, it can cause difficulty while urinating and be painful as well. The second cause could be enlarged prostate, a sign of aging among men. It, too, can be treated effectively if evaluated in a timely manner, with medication to relieve the indicators or to shrink the prostate, to aid urination.
Although men are known to avoid visiting the doctor for what they believe to be a minor health issue, it is imperative to get oneself checked (especially as one age), to recognise the symptoms to avoid any major health issue.
The author is a Consultant Urology, Andrology and Kidney Transplant Surgeon at Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi