A bladder infection, commonly known as cystitis, is a member of the very undesirable family of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It comes about as a result of bacteria that originated in the anus finding its way into the bladder from the urinary tract. This circumstance will lead to an inflammation of the bladder, and an infection in the lower urinary tract.
Women are much more likely to suffer from this problem than men. In fact, it is estimated that 20% of all women will, at some time in their lives, have this infection. Why? Well, nobody knows for sure, but one theory is that because women have a shorter urethra (the tube that removes urine from the bladder)that this makes it easier for the bacteria to reach and enter the bladder. Elderly people (especially those in nursing homes) and people with diabetes also get more UTIs. While a man is much less likely to have this problem, his chances do increase as he ages. This is most likely due to an increase in prostate size.
Are infections of the bladder serious? Yes, and no. If treated right away the chances of the infection becoming serious are slim. However, should the condition go untreated it could lead to a kidney infection which is more serious, and could lead to permanent kidney damage.
A bladder infection in an elderly person can be difficult to recognize, and the symptoms are sometimes attributed to aging. Should an older person suddenly have a problem with incontinence, or act unusually lethargic or confused, don't take it for granted. Take the time to have the person examined by a doctor, as this type of infection is much more serious for the elderly, and may even lead to a fatal condition.
Here is a list of additional risk factors for this type of infection:
* A narrow urethra
* Bowel incontinence
* Enlarged prostate
* Kidney stones
* *** transmitted bacteria: chlamydia and mycoplasma
* The use of a diaphragm for birth control
* Insufficient consumption of fluids
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms, treatments, and prevention measures regarding bladder infections and you should never have to be overly concerned with this problem.
While a bladder infection can be quite uncomfortable and potentially serious, when recognized and treated they clear up quickly and are relatively harmless.
Copyright ©2006 Carl DiNello
Carl DiNello is an Article Author whose articles are featured on websites covering the Internet's most popular topics.
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