A lot of people are not aware how pivotal respiratory health is when it comes to aging well. Did you know that respiratory health issues and illnesses are most likely to affect elderly people? Despite the fact that aging is normal, there are a lot of pulmonary and non-pulmonary diseases and physiologic changes due to aging. The older you get, the higher the risk of contracting lung disease along with the increase of morbidity and mortality. Recognition and awareness of respiratory diseases are equally as important as they especially affect the elderly, in order to prevent the illness or improve patient outcome. Improving your health and keep lungs healthy can result in lung disease prevention that helps you live longer.
What are the most common respiratory illnesses in the elderly people?
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Having difficulty breathing is one of the main symptoms of COPD. COPD can also be classified in a form of Emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightening are the symptoms of COPD that can result in serious long-term aftereffect.
- Bronchial Asthma
Asthma is chronic inflammatory disease that is common in both children and adults. But asthma in elders can cause serious problems. Difficulty breathing, coughing, chest tightening are asthma symptoms that can get more severe in the elderly and increase the risk of becoming critically ill.
Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that causes inflammation because they are filled up with fluid or pus causing elders hard to breath. Fever with chills, cough with phlegm, nausea and vomiting from pneumonia can especially be harmful to elders of 65 years or older due to a depleted immune system.
- Congestive Heart Failure
A big patron to respiratory issues is congestive heart failure because the heart cannot pump blood throughout the body properly anymore, a buildup of fluid is created which ends up forcefully pushed to the lungs. High heart rate, wheezing, crackling sound when breathing, short breathing, a cough with pink or frothy mucus, and sweating are signs of respiratory distress or pulmonary edema.