Incontinence: Treatable -- and Curable
The problem -- not to be taken lightly -- can lead to skin infections, rashes, pressure sores or disturbed sleep. Emotional problems such as depression or lowered self-esteem are also common -- as are disturbances in social, sexual and work-related activities. Generally, women and older people are more prone to urinary incontinence.
But the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says the disorder is not normal at any age. It is more common among women than men. Causes can include urinary tract infection, vaginal infection or irritation, constipation, medication side effects, hormone imbalances, neurologic disorders, urethral blockage, sphincter problems, bladder problems and immobility.
The National Institute on Aging says treatment for this problem may include behavioral techniques, medications, surgery or a combination of all three. Simple behavioral techniques such as bladder training or pelvic muscle exercises -- Kegels -- can also improve bladder control.