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What is OAB?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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OAB is a term commonly used to identify the presence of an overactive bladder. There are a number of specific symptoms that indicate the presence of this condition. Fortunately, it is possible to treat this type of bladder condition with relative ease in most cases. Here are some things you should know about the symptoms associated with the condition and how OAB can be treated.

One of the defining characteristics of overactive bladders is a frequent and almost overpowering urge to urinate. This sensation is usually accompanied by a sense that the individual will not be able to prevent the occurrence of urination long enough to reach a restroom. The anxiety produced by this fear of losing bladder control may in fact exacerbate the situation and cause urine to begin flowing despite the best efforts of the individual to prevent urination.

An individual with OAB may or may not receive some degree of respite while sleeping. The urge to void the bladder may be so strong that the patient wakes up frequently at night and is forced to run to the nearest bathroom. However, there are people who experience OAB and do manage to sleep the night through with no more than one or two interruptions.

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It is important to note that while OAB does often involve incontinence, that is not always the case. For many sufferers, the main discomfort is the constant feeling that the bladder must be voided immediately, even when there is no appreciable amount of urine to be expelled. With almost all sufferers, any relief obtained after urination is usually short-lived. This can mean that OAB has the ability to severely curtail the ability to enjoy day to day activities such as shopping, sports, or even taking a long walk.

Fortunately, it is possible to begin treating OAB as soon as a diagnosis is confirmed. The type of treatment will vary, depending on the individual circumstances of the patient. Often, the use of prescription medication is enough to bring relief. It is not unusual for the physician to check for any type of infection in the urinary tract as well as the digestive tract, as both these issues could lead to complications with the bladder.

In some cases, treating OAB begins with making some simple lifestyle changes. The patient reduces the amount of fluids ingested each day, especially restricting their intake in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine has the ability to trigger the development of the condition in some people over a period of time. A physician may encourage the patient to either eliminate or great restrict intake of caffeine in any form. A regimen involving retraining the bladder may also be an effective component in the overall treatment process.

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