Even though overactive bladder is not a disease, people need options to deal with the embarrassing and socially awkward circumstances created by the urge to pass urine in public situations.
If you are one of the many individuals who desperately rush to reach the bathroom before expressing their urine, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Health, older people over the age of 64 years suffer from the condition called overactive bladder more than any other group. John Hopkins’ researchers describe a prevalence of 16 percent in both men and women. On occasion, the urine spills out into the undergarments causing incontinence before an individual reaches the bathroom. This situation may create embarrassment and difficulty in social situations.
Medscape on October 26, 2012 reported on guidelines issued by the American Urological Association and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction for treatment of overactive bladders. These guidelines represent good news for patients with abnormal activity in their urinary bladders. The recommendations in the guidelines come from scientifically based information and provide physicians with the most current diagnostic and treatment protocols for overactive bladder patients.
Gormley and colleagues published the new guidelines in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Urology. Even though the urinary bladder causing incontinence fails to produce life-threatening situations, the condition negatively influences one’s daily quality of life. The guidelines describe two main lines of treatment for the abnormal urinary bladder. The first lines of treatment involve behavior therapy and the second lines of treatment comprise medication treatment. Individuals may not obtain complete relief of incontinence, but most obtain significant reduction in symptoms.
Behavior treatments improve symptoms by attention to a person’s activities or to the individuals’ environment. The behavior treatments provide the ability to reduce symptoms better then medications or equivalent to medications. The main first-line therapies include:
*bladder control strategies
*pelvic floor muscle training
These therapies address activities like going to the bathroom more often, practicing to delay voiding urine, learning pelvic floor muscle training, reducing the amount of fluid intake at one time and avoiding caffeine drinks.
The second-line of treatment include oral or skin patch medications. The medications reduce the symptoms of overactive bladder. The class of drugs falls under the category of anti-muscarinics. These drugs encompass the following anti-muscarinics:
The research on these drugs showed relative equivalence across the medications. These medications produce common side effects of dry mouth, constipation, dry eyes, hazy vision, urinary tract infection and urinary retention that cause no life-threatening consequences.
Much remains unknown about overactive bladder, but the guidelines provide the most current scientific evidence to guide treatment and give individuals options for their condition. Future, research hopes to address such problems as how the condition develops, what aspects are risk factors for developing the condition and what other drugs with less side effects can treat the condition.