Are you struggling to make it to the bathroom in time or feeling an urge to urinate more than you think is normal? You could have an overactive bladder, but it’s not always easy to identify this common condition.
You’ve come to the right place. At Urology Associates Medical Group, our providers have years of experience diagnosing and treating overactive bladder patients in Burbank, California.
We want you to understand what you may be experiencing, so we’ve put together this guide to help you learn more about overactive bladder. Take a moment to learn more.
What exactly is overactive bladder?
Even if you haven’t heard of overactive bladder, you’ve probably heard of incontinence. This is a condition in which you struggle to hold your urine. Incontinence causes leaks and sometimes even a full loss of control over your bladder.
Incontinence comes in multiple types, the main three being overflow incontinence, stress urinary incontinence, and overactive bladder. When someone has more than one type, this is called mixed urinary incontinence.
Overactive bladder, also known as OAB or urgency incontinence, can trigger an urge to urinate that is so strong many people with OAB don’t make it to the toilet in time. This can happen even if you don’t have a full bladder.
OAB develops when there is overactivity in the detrusor muscles, which control your bladder. They can send signals at the wrong time, triggering this intense urge to urinate. About 33 million Americans are affected by this condition.
What are the symptoms of OAB?
Overactive bladder can cause many different symptoms, ranging in severity. Each person’s experience might be different. Common symptoms of OAB include:
- The need to urinate eight times a day or more
- Sudden, strong urges to urinate
- Difficulty controlling urination
- Nocturia (getting up at least twice at night to urinate)
- Urge incontinence (leaking urine after getting an urge to urinate)
Though these symptoms may make you feel embarrassed or anxious, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. OAB is common, and when you confide in us at Urology Associates Medical Group, we can treat it.
Why do I have OAB?
OAB is caused by spasms in your detrusor muscles, and many factors play into why this may happen. Usually, there’s more than one factor that causes OAB. You may even develop OAB for no identifiable reason.
But some conditions and risk factors increase your chances of getting OAB. These include:
- Bladder abnormalities
- History of urinary tract infections
- Irregular nerve activity
- Brain damage
- Declining cognitive function
- Muscle spasms
- History of neurological diseases
If you’re an older woman, hormonal changes during menopause can cause OAB. And certain types of medications can increase your risk of OAB, regardless of your age.
There are some lifestyle factors and habits that can make OAB worse. These include:
- Drinking caffeine
- Drinking alcohol
- Having a mainly sedentary lifestyle
- Having mobility issues
A health condition that makes it difficult for you to fully empty your bladder, like an enlarged prostate, may contribute to OAB.
What treatments are available for OAB?
Getting an accurate diagnosis and identifying underlying factors of your OAB are the first steps to treatment. At Urology Associates Medical Group, we evaluate your medical history, review symptoms both current and past, and discuss lifestyle factors that may affect your system.
We may order testing, which might include a urinalysis or urine flow rate exam, or lab work.
We recommend a personalized OAB treatment plan based on your underlying causes, symptoms, and personal triggers. Treatments may include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Behavioral therapies
- Bladder injections
- Nerve stimulation therapy
If you think you may have OAB, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation to start your treatment journey. Call to set up an appointment at the Urology Associates Medical Group office in Burbank, California today.