11. Vision Problems
Many of the vision problems of your later years begin to show up in your late 40s or early 50s. Annual checkups with your ophthalmologist can help to catch vision problems in the early stages, before you suffer vision loss. Bausch and Lomb lists several disorders of the eye that may begin to afflict individuals in their 40s or 50s. These include diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy. Other eye concerns that may strike in the later years are allergies, dryness, and nearsightedness.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can strike at any time. Diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels become excessively high due to a lack of or decreased sensitivity to insulin. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes are age, excessive weight, inactivity, and a family history of diabetes. Your doctor can order a blood test to determine whether you are prediabetic. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite at diabetic levels. According to the CDC, more than 30% of adult Americans are prediabetic, and most of them do not realize it.
Hard deposits made up of cholesterol, bilirubin, or bile salts can form in your gallbladder. These masses, called gallstones, may be symptomless. In other instances, they may block your bile ducts, causing pain and inflammation. This is known as a gallbladder attack. Risk factors for gallstones include age, obesity, liver disease, and a family history of gallstones. The risk of painful gallbladder attacks can be decreased by maintaining a proper body weight, exercising, and consuming a fiber-rich diet.