How Aging Impacts the Immune System

  • 2 Min To Read
  • a month ago

As we age, our immune system tends to weaken, making us more susceptible to illnesses and infections. This decline in immunity is a natural part of the aging process, much like other bodily functions that may not work as well as they used to in our younger years. Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, chairman of the department of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospitals, compares this decrease in immunity to the decline in physical abilities that often comes with age.

While the exact reasons behind this decrease in immunity are still being studied by researchers like Kira Rubtsova, an immunity researcher at National Jewish Health in Denver, there are some common trends among older adults. Older adults tend to have fewer immune cells, making it harder for their bodies to respond to harmful germs. They also recover more slowly from injuries, infections, and illnesses due to a decrease in immune cell production.

It's important for older adults to take steps to maintain and improve their immune health. Regular visits to the doctor can help monitor any changes in immune function, as well as provide guidance on staying healthy. Managing chronic conditions like diabetes and arthritis can also help support a strong immune system.

In addition to medical care, lifestyle factors play a significant role in immune health. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, avoiding smoking, staying physically active, and eating a healthy diet can all contribute to a stronger immune system. These simple practices can help older adults stay healthy and reduce their risk of infections and illnesses.

By taking a proactive approach to immune health, older adults can continue to live active and fulfilling lives while minimizing the impact of age-related immune decline. It's never too late to start prioritizing immune health and making positive changes to support overall well-being.


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