Over Active Bladder
What Is An Overactive Bladder?
Also known as urge incontinence and urgency-frequency syndrome, over active bladder (OAB) is a type of incontinence producing involuntary urination. One in six people in the US may suffer from overactive bladder and, although not a normal part of aging, the condition is more common in older adults.
An involuntary squeezing of the bladder muscles produces a sudden and uncontrollable need to urinate, even when only a small amount of urine is present. The urge to urinate can be so overpowering that it results in bladder leakage or even gushing.
How Prevalent is OAB?
OAB occurs in 10-17 percent of adults of all ages worldwide, affecting more than 17 million people. In the US, 16 percent of men and 16.9 percent of women suffer from OAB. The incidence of OAB increases with age and has also been associated with menopause in women and with beer consumption in men. Although more common in older adults, OAB is abnormal at any age.
What Causes Over Active Bladder?
In most cases, the bladder muscles contract involuntarily, causing a strong and frequent urge to urinate. OAB results from problems with the bladder muscles and the nerves that produce sensory feedback in the bladder.
Causes of OAB can include:
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Multiple pregnancies
* Urinary tract infection
* Parkinson’s Disease
* Spinal cord injury
* Bladder stones
* Diabetic neuroapathy
When there is no apparent cause for OAB, it is referred to as idiopathic overactive bladder.
What Are The Symptoms?
* A frequent, overpowering urge to urinate immediately
* Urinating more than eight times while awake
* Urine leakage or gushing following an urge to urinate
* Waking from sleep more than twice to urinate
How Is OAB Treated?
* Anticholinergic drugs to block nerve signals to the bladder muscles
* Bladder retraining, pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback and other behavioral modifications
A promising new intervention called neuromodulation therapy was reported to be an effective alternative for treating OAB at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association. Treatment involves electrical stimulation of the nerves that control bladder function.
This treatment was found to provide a significant reduction in urges to urinate and in bladder leakage and gushing. Neuromodulation is a nonsurgical outpatient treatment that’s performed in a doctor’s office. Unlike drug therapy, the side effects are minimal.