An Overactive Bladder (OAB)

An Overactive Bladder (OAB)


Don’t feel embarrassed. Almost 33 million in the U.S. have an overactive bladder (OAB). But medical experts believe that this number is conservative. A lot of men don’t like to talk about OAB. Yet 30% of them have it. Don’t put off speaking to your doctor about this problem. There are many treatment options available and they are effective. Symptoms include frequent urination, feeling like you need to go often, urinating several times during the night, even leakage.Not every man has every symptom. You may have just one or two. Sometimes the urge is so strong you can’t control it. Some men urinate up to eight times a day. Having to go at least two times at night is also a strong sign, an experience dubbed nocturia. Urge incontinence is another common symptom. This is when some leakage occurs when you feel like you have to go. Physical exertion, laughing or sneezing can also make leakage occur. An enlarged prostate makes for two thirds of OAB cases in men. The urethra passes through the prostate gland. When the prostate swells it puts pressure on the urethra. An enlarged prostate can also cause a blockage, resulting in OAB symptoms.

Though most men experience OAB due to an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostate hypoplasia (BPH), it isn’t the only cause. Other causes includebladder cancer, bladder stones, an infection, stroke and even Parkinson’s disease. Stroke and Parkinson’s can cause nerve damage which may lead to OAB.  If you tell your doctor you think you might have OAB he will want to perform an exam. You will be tested for infection and bladder stones. There are also lots of tests to check you bladder’s functioning. One of these may be performed. One test includes seeing how much urine remains within your bladder after urination. Another will measure the urine stream. The doctor could also see how much pressure there is in and around the bladder. The results of these efforts should give the physician enough information in order to make a diagnosis. There are some lifestyle changes that can improve the symptoms of OAB. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and drinking the right fluids will all be recommended. You may need to keep a record of urination. A bathroom schedule could be imposed. If you are overweight or obese, it can affect the condition and the doctor may recommend a program to help you lose weight. A bladder training routine may be initiated. There are medications for OAB. There is a device for those who are getting mixed up signals in the brain going to the bladder. If none of these options work, there is surgery.

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