I Guess I’m Getting Old…

I Guess I’m Getting Old…

Last week, I went for my annual eye appointment. To my surprise, my prescription had changed slightly. The doctor, who shall remain nameless for his safety, told me that this tends to happen when you start getting “older”. He very clearly reminded me that I’m nearly 40. Keep in mind that this man is much older than me.

Since when, though, is 40 old? I’m still in my 30’s, granted they are almost over. I don’t feel old. I don’t think of myself as old. So why does society think I’m old? Honestly, it isn’t even society. Why does the medical field consider me old?

In a day where people are living longer and longer, why is 40 this “magical” number that means a person is old? As it turns out, 40 is the age that doctors begin to see many conditions and recommend several screenings. Everything from mammograms to colonoscopies to prostate exams to blood sugar tests are recommended beginning at age 40. I set out on an internet quest to figure out why, though. Why is 40 the age of testing?

What I found is that the body makes incredible changes in your 40’s.

I Guess I'm Getting Old...There are quite obvious ways- perimenopause, thinning, graying hair, metabolic changes, etc. But in my research, I found out that other things change, too- things that would have never crossed my mind. Some of these include:

  1. The vocal chords lose flexibility which contributes to your voice changing… again;
  2. The throat muscles weaken making it harder to swallow;
  3. The eardrums weaken causing hearing loss;
  4. The oral nerves shrink;
  5. The liver actually loses toughness, causing alcohol to have a greater affect on the body;
  6. And reasoning skills slow down.

My original question went unanswered, though. I could not find a single medical journal or website to say why. Why do these things happen? Why at this age?

I guess that I’ll just have to live with the fact that I’m “getting old”. I’ll have to live with the fact that my body is undergoing changes- again. This time, I’ll just have to be content with not knowing why.


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