What Is An Overactive Bladder?
Overactive bladder is an embarrassing, disruptive, chronic medical condition
that affects approximately 17 million people in the U.S., including nearly one
of every five adults over the age of 45. It is marked by symptoms of urinary
frequency or urinating more than eight times in a 24-hour period, including
two or more times a night. Other symptoms include urinary urgency, a strong
and sudden need to urinate, and urge incontinence, the accidental loss of urine
caused by a sudden and unstoppable urge to urinate. Many people with overactive
bladder--or OAB--mistakenly believe that the condition is an unavoidable part
of aging they just must learn to live with. As a result, many patients suffer
in silence without seeking help.
What should you do if you have problems controlling your bladder? The first
step is to consult your health care provider. Management options include behavioral
changes, exercises, biofeedback, medicine; for cases of stress urinary incontinence,
a minimally invasive surgical procedure can provide dryness for more than 85%
of patients. The good news is that despite the cause of urinary incontinence
or overactive bladder, in many cases, there are treatment options to help patients
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Created: 7/16/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.