Is an Overactive Bladder Crimping Your Lifestyle?
For people suffering from urinary urgency and frequency, the complications with an overactive bladder are almost worse than the condition itself. While an overactive bladder alone is generally not painful or indicative of a serious underlying medical condition, there are several ways in which it can negatively impact your life.
An overactive bladder can lead to severe emotional distress, especially if sufferers are placed in a situation without ready access to a bathroom. They may feel embarrassed by having to excuse themselves during work or school. They may even fear being singled out by work supervisors for taking too many bathroom breaks. They may even panic at the thought of being stuck in traffic or waiting in line and unable to relieve themselves. The emotional distress can pile on until sufferers find themselves staying home and avoiding errands and social activities in order to alleviate some of it. Over time, this social isolation can even lead to depression.
Overactive bladder complications don’t just crop up outside of the home, though. Sufferers may find their sleep disturbed by the need to urinate in the middle of the night. Disrupting their sleep cycle can lead to being unable to fall back to sleep, feeling groggy throughout the day, and other sleep issues that impact their ability to drive and work. Over time, these sleep issues can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life.
Fortunately, people with overactive bladders don’t have to suffer from complications anymore. There are several things that can offer relief, including:
- Lifestyle changes like kegel exercises, weight loss, and limiting the consumption of fluids can help reduce symptoms naturally.
- Medications like Solifenacin or Tolterodine that help relax the bladder and reduce urinary urgency and incontinence.
- Regular injections of Botox into bladder muscles.
- Devices that stimulate the nerves of the bladder with electricity.
- Surgery to expand the bladder.
When an appropriate treatment or lifestyle change is employed, complications will generally resolve on their own. In some cases, doctors may choose to treat the complications with an overactive bladder in addition to treating the condition itself.
If you or someone you love is currently coping with complications related to an overactive bladder, don’t wait for things to improve on their own. Talk to your doctor about seeing a qualified urologist to discuss options for improving bladder control.