As we get older, we start to notice some unusual things going on with our bodies. From loss of taste to ringing ears (and hair growing in places it shouldn't be) our bodies are always changing. In a fast-paced world, it can be easy to ignore these niggling changes.
However, some of these oddities could be a warning sign of more serious medical issues. Here are 5 symptoms you should never ignore and why.
Symptom # 1 - Ringing In Ears
Ringing in ears could be associated with earwax build-up, head and neck tumours or problems in the jaw.
Alternatively, it could signify Tinnutus - depending on the type of ringing sound heard.
Tinnitus is the perception of hearing noises or ringing in the ear when no external sound is present. Tinnitus symptoms include hearing phantom noises in your ears and experiencing buzzing, ringing, hissing, roaring or clicking noises.
Tinnitus is actually a pretty common problem, affecting about one in five people. It isn't a condition itself, but rather a symptom of other underlying conditions that are associated with age-related hearing loss, injury in the inner ear, earwax buildup or blockage, or sometimes a symptom of allergies.
If ringing in the ears lasts longer than a week, go see your doctor.
Symptom # 2 - Losing Taste & Smell
Losing your sense of taste could be associated with Alzheimer's disease, nasal and sinus problems, nutritional deficiencies, head injury or even as a result of certain medications.
At birth, you have about 10,000 taste buds, but after age 50, you may start to lose them. Some loss of taste and even smell is common in older adults, especially after age 60.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 200,000 people visit a doctor each year for problems with their ability to taste or smell.
Scientists believe that up to 15 percent of adults might have a taste or smell problem, but many don't seek a doctor's help.
It's best to see your doctor if you experience losing your sense of taste and/or smell.
Symptom # 3 - Blue-ish Fingernails
Ick! Blue nails are a sign you're not getting enough oxygen to your fingertips, a condition known as cyanosis.
Having blue-ish fingernails could be associated with pulmonary obstruction, emphysema or lung disease.
If your nails are persistently blue, go see your doctor and ask to have your blood and oxygenation levels checked.
If the hue of blue is darker than a tinge, go see your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptom # 4 - Small Dots In The Eye
Ever looked into the mirror and saw small dots in your eyes?
Your eyes are similar in nature to skin. Like skin, the eyes can get marked. These mars are called choroidal nevi.
Although the name sounds complicated, a choroidal nevus is merely a freckle in the eye. Choroidal nevi are usually harmless: in most cases, they can only be seen by an eye doctor.
Your doctor will likely monitor any freckle and alert you if it changes in colour, size or shape.
If you notice that the dots change shape, this could be associated with a melanoma and should be monitored by a doctor immediately.
Symptom # 5 - Excessive Female Facial Hair
Hirsutism is a medical condition most commonly caused by an imbalance of sex hormones, specifically excess male hormones called androgens.
One of the most common causes is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition affecting women of reproductive age.
The condition results in excessive amounts of dark, coarse hair on body areas where men typically grow hair - the face, chest and back.
The amount of body hair you have is largely determined by your genetic makeup.