It’s estimated that at least 10% of the population will have a hernia in their lifetime. A hernia is described as a bulging of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening. The causes and types of hernias vary depending on the location in the body, severity and symptoms. One thing holds true, no matter the circumstances – any hernia can turn into a medical emergency. Seniors that suspect they have a hernia, whether it is painful or not, should discuss this with their doctor as soon as possible.
Seniors that have a hernia will often notice a lump in the abdomen, groin, leg or other area of the body. These lumps can be painful or painless, soft or firm, and will vary in size. Other hernia symptoms include pain, a heavy sensation in the area of the hernia, and swelling.
The trapped tissue causing the hernia can lose blood supply, becoming a strangulated hernia. A strangulated hernia can be a life-threatening condition and requires immediate surgery. Hernias that have become strangulated can cause fever, sudden intense pain, nausea and vomiting. Strangulated hernias can also change appearance, with the lump becoming larger or turning red or purple.
Medical professionals evaluating a hernia will typically do a physical exam and may order an ultrasound or CT scan as well. Seniors that want to discuss their hernia with their doctor can use the following list of questions as a guide for starting this conversation:
- What type of hernia is this?
- Does my hernia require surgery?
- How can I know if my hernia is getting worse?
- How can I care for my hernia?
- What should I do if my hernia starts to hurt, or changes in appearance?
- How can I take care of my hernia?
- What does surgery and recovery look like for a hernia?
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
If your loved one has specific care needs related to a health issue, like a hernia, we can help. Our caregivers can provide transportation to appointments, assist with meal preparation and light housework, provide companionship and help monitor physical changes and symptoms. We strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care.
To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.
eMedicine Health. “Hernia FAQ.” Web. 2018.
Mayo Clinic. “Inguinal hernia.” Web. 2019.
Web MD. “What are the Types of Hernias.” Web. 2018.