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Urinary incontinence (UI) is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.
Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. This is stress incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.
Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best fits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures prescribed by your doctor, or surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Usher syndrome is an inherited disease that causes serious hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disorder that causes your vision to get worse over time. It is the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision.
There are three types of Usher syndrome:
- People with type I are deaf from birth and have severe balance problems from a young age. Vision problems usually start by age 10 and lead to blindness.
- People with type II have moderate to severe hearing loss and normal balance. Vision problems start in the early teens and get worse more slowly than in type I.
- People with type III are born with normal hearing and near-normal balance but develop vision problems and then hearing loss.
There is no cure. Tools such as hearing aids or cochlear implants can help some people. Training such as Braille instruction, low-vision services, or auditory training can also help.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Vision Impairment and Blindness
If you have low vision, eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery may not help. Activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be hard to do. The leading causes of low vision and blindness in the United States are age-related eye diseases: macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. Other eye disorders, eye injuries, and birth defects can also cause vision loss.
Whatever the cause, lost vision cannot be restored. It can, however, be managed. A loss of vision means that you may have to reorganize your life and learn new ways of doing things. If you have some vision, visual aids such as special glasses and large print books can make life easier. There are also devices to help those with no vision, like text-reading software and braille books.
The sooner vision loss or eye disease is found and treated, the greater your chances of keeping your remaining vision. You should have regular comprehensive eye exams by an eye care professional.
NIH: National Eye Institute