How to Treat Overactive Bladder?

  • December 08, 2023
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How to Treat Overactive Bladder?

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?

Overactive Bladder (OAB) is a disruptive medical condition characterized by a sudden urge to urinate, often causing involuntary leakage. Beyond typical urges, OAB significantly impacts daily life and emotional well-being, not solely a consequence of aging but linked to factors like age, neurological conditions, infections, and hormonal changes. Manifesting as heightened urination frequency, uncontrollable urges, and nocturia, OAB affects a significant number of individuals in the U.S., with up to 33 million adults impacted, including 30% of men and 40% of women. Recognizing the prevalence of OAB is crucial for fostering awareness and encouraging timely intervention, improving overall well-being.

Why Does Overactive Bladder Occur?

The primary factor contributing to Overactive Bladder is the involuntary contraction of the detrusor muscle, responsible for bladder contractions. However, the exact cause of these involuntary contractions is not always straightforward and can vary from person to person. Age is a significant risk factor, as the bladder muscles tend to lose some of their elasticity and tone with age. Neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can interfere with nerve signals controlling bladder function. Urinary tract infections and hormonal changes, especially in women during menopause, can also contribute to the development of OAB.

How to Identify Overactive Bladder?

  1. Recognizing the symptoms of Overactive Bladder is essential for seeking timely medical attention and appropriate treatment. The hallmark symptoms include a sudden and intense urge to urinate, frequent urination (eight or more times a day), and nocturia, where an individual wakes up at night to urinate. Additionally, some individuals may experience urge incontinence, which involves the involuntary loss of urine following a sudden urge to urinate.
  2. Diagnosis typically involves a comprehensive review of the patient's medical history, a physical examination, and, in some cases, additional tests. These tests may include urodynamic studies, urine analysis, and imaging studies. The objective is to rule out other potential underlying conditions and determine the most suitable course of treatment for the individual.