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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.

Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. This is stress incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best fits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures prescribed by your doctor, or surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary system is the body's drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body.

You may have a UTI if you notice

  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Fever, tiredness, or shakiness
  • An urge to urinate often
  • Pressure in your lower belly
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
  • Pain in your back or side below the ribs

People of any age or sex can get UTIs. But about four times as many women get UTIs as men. You're also at higher risk if you have diabetes, need a tube to drain your bladder, or have a spinal cord injury.

If you think you have a UTI it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can tell if you have a UTI with a urine test. Treatment is with antibiotics.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urine and Urination

Your kidneys make urine by filtering wastes and extra water from your blood. The waste is called urea. Your blood carries it to the kidneys. From the kidneys, urine travels down two thin tubes called ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until you are ready to urinate. It swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller when empty. If your urinary system is healthy, your bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably for 2 to 5 hours.

You may have problems with urination if you have

  • Kidney failure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Bladder control problems like incontinence, overactive bladder, or interstitial cystitis
  • A blockage that prevents you from emptying your bladder

Some conditions may also cause you to have blood or protein in your urine. If you have a urinary problem, see your health care provider. Urinalysis and other urine tests can help to diagnose the problem. Treatment depends on the cause.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Usher Syndrome

Usher syndrome is an inherited disease that causes serious hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disorder that causes your vision to get worse over time. It is the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision.

There are three types of Usher syndrome:

  • People with type I are deaf from birth and have severe balance problems from a young age. Vision problems usually start by age 10 and lead to blindness.
  • People with type II have moderate to severe hearing loss and normal balance. Vision problems start in the early teens and get worse more slowly than in type I.
  • People with type III are born with normal hearing and near-normal balance but develop vision problems and then hearing loss.

There is no cure. Tools such as hearing aids or cochlear implants can help some people. Training such as Braille instruction, low-vision services, or auditory training can also help.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders