Are you suffering from urinary incontinence? You’re not the only one. It’s a symptom of overactive bladder (OAB), a condition that triggers a sudden urge to urinate.
Up to 33 million Americans are affected by this condition, which might make you feel like you have no control over your bladder and your life.
OAB can trigger such an intense urge to urinate that many people with the condition often struggle to reach the toilet in time, even when their bladder isn't filled.
It develops because of detrusor (bladder muscle) overactivity. If this muscle gets signals to contract at the wrong time, you feel the urge to urinate regardless of how full your bladder is.
Though there are treatments for OAB, many men and women do not bring it up to their medical provider. While we understand this can be an embarrassing subject, our providers at Urology Associates Medical Group are equipped to help you manage your OAB symptoms.
Take a moment to learn more about OAB and how to know it’s time to seek medical treatment.
Causes of OAB
There are many different reasons for spasms in your detrusor muscle. Often, more than one factor causes OAB, and some people may develop the condition for no identifiable reason. Some conditions and risk factors that increase your chances of getting OAB include:
- History of urinary tract infections
- Bladder abnormalities
- Muscle spasms
- Irregular nerve activity
- Brain damage
- Declining cognitive function
- History of neurological diseases
For older women, the hormonal changes that occur during menopause may cause OAB. Certain medications that people of all ages take may increase the risk of OAB as well.
Some lifestyle factors and personal habits can make OAB worse. These include drinking caffeine and alcohol, having a mainly sedentary lifestyle, or having mobility issues. Health conditions that prevent you from fully emptying your bladder such as an enlarged prostate may also contribute.
Treatments for OAB
An accurate diagnosis and determining underlying factors contributing to your OAB are necessary before treatments can begin. At Urology Associates Medical Group, we evaluate your medical history, review your current and previous symptoms, and discuss relevant lifestyle factors that may affect your urinary system.
Additional tests may be required for a diagnosis. These may include a urinalysis or urine flow rate exam, or lab work. Based on the underlying causes, severity of symptoms, and personal triggers, we recommend treatment.
We work hard to deliver you a personalized OAB plan, which may include therapies like lifestyle changes, behavioral therapies, medications, bladder injections, nerve stimulation therapy, or surgery.
When to get medical help for OAB
Don’t wait to seek medical help if you have any of the symptoms of OAB. While symptoms vary and range in severity, the most common signs of overactive bladder include:
- Urinating eight or more times a day
- Sudden and intense urges to urinate
- Difficulty controlling urination
- Waking twice or more at night to urinate
- Urine leakage after experiencing an urge to urinate
If you need help with OAB, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation at our office in Burbank, California, today.