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Celebrate Your 50th Birthday with a Doctor's Appointment

The big day is near: you're about to turn fifty. You and your friends and family are planning a celebration for this milestone, but it's also a good time to take stock of your health. You've reached an age where your body will experience some changes. Learn how to prevent the following health issues from spoiling your birthday celebration.

Colon Cancer

The American Cancer Society recommends getting a colonoscopy starting at age 50 and on a regular basis as you age. The tissues in the walls of the large intestine change with age. These tissues can become irritated and develop small outgrowths, called polyps. Normally these polyps don't present a health hazard, but some polyps can turn into cancerous growths.

When caught early, the polyps can be removed entirely and stop the spread of cancer cells. If left untreated, the cells will develop in other parts of the intestine before spreading throughout the body. If you have a history of an irritated bowel, the intestinal tissues may not develop polyps but produce cancerous cells directly.

Vision Issues

People may experience some changes in their vision at around 40 years old. As you turn 50, your near vision may get worse, says the American Optometric Association. You'll find yourself frequently adjusting a book or magazine in front of you so you can read it clearly. This is a good time to have your near and far vision tested, as well as the following age-related eye issues:

  • Glaucoma—Increased pressure inside of the eyeball puts stress on the retina. This can result in damage to the retina and a loss of peripheral vision.
  • Retinal Tears—Floaters in the eye are a natural occurrence and they normally come and go without causing a problem. If you begin experiencing a large number of them or see flashes of light in your vision, you may have a tear in your retina.
  • Changes in Vision Clarity—If your eyesight changes from clear and focused to blurry several times in a day, diabetes or high blood pressure may be affecting your vision.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)—If you begin to have blind spots in your vision or if objects that have a distorted or fuzzy appearance, you may be developing AMD. This is caused by tiny blood vessels that form on the back of the retina. These blood vessels leak fluid out onto the retina, blocking the light from hitting it.


If you're a women over 50, it's time to get serious about your bone health. Osteoporosis is a bone disease found in aging women. The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that 50 percent of the women over 50 will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis. This disease speeds up the wearing down of bone tissue faster than the body can produce new bone cells.

Your doctor can test your bone density to determine the health of your bones. Osteoporosis is caused by a decline in the amount of estrogen produced in the body, but it can be treated with diet changes, exercise, and medication to stimulate new bone production. Getting treated for any bone loss will help you to stay healthy and active.

Go ahead and enjoy that birthday cake, unwrap the presents, and toast your 50th birthday. When the festivities are over, call your doctor to make an appointment for a check up to make sure you're not faced with any of these age-related health problems. For more information, consider speaking with a representative from Northwest Gastroenterology Associates.