Asthma in aging adults
28
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , /


SAY ASTHMA IS OFTEN GOING UNDER-TREATED AND UNDER- DIAGNOSED IN OLDER ADULTS… (SCOTT) THAT CAN LEAD TO SLEEP PROBLEMS, EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS, AND EVEN HEART ISSUES… AND AS NINA CRISCUOLO EXPLAINS YOU MAY BE WRITING IT OFF AS SOMETHING DIFFERENT ALL TOGETHER. (NINA) MOST OF US ARE FAMILIAR WITH ASTHMA… THE CONDITION CAN INFLAME THE LUNGS AND MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO BREATH. OLDER ADULTS THOUGH – OFTEN THINK IT’S JUST A SINUS ISSUE OR MAYBE EVEN THAT THEY’RE OUT OF SHAPE. BUT IGNORING THOSE SIGNS COULD BE DANGEROUS. ESTIMATES VARY, BUT UP TO NINE- PERCENT OF OLDER ADULTS ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE ASTHMA… ONE MEDICAL JOURNAL SAYS HALF OF THOSE HAVE NOT BEEN ACCURATELY DIAGNOSED. STUDIES SHOW DEATH RATES FOR SENIORS WITH ASTHMA ARE FIVE TIMES THAT OF YOUNGER PATIENTS AND MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS ARE MORE COMMON. OUR BODIES ARE LESS ABLE TO DEAL WITH ASTHMA SYMPTOMS AS WE AGE AND COMPROMISED VISION, FINE MOTOR COORDINATION, AND COGNITION CAN EVEN IT MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO USE AN INHALER CORRECTLY. BUT THAT’S JUST FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THEY HAVE ASTHMA. WE SPOKE TO AN OTALARYNGOLOGIS T AT IU HEALTH WHO SAYS THERE’S NO RISK IN ASKING YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF ASTHMA AND THE TEST IS REALLY SIMPLE. ((ELISA ILLING – OTOLARYNGOLOGIST: THE DOCTOR WILL USE A SMALL MACHINE TO HAVE YOU TAKE A DEEP BREATH IN AND THEN BLOW OUT AS HARD AS YOU CAN OVER ABOUT A SECOND AND THEY’LL TEST THAT VOLUME OF AIR THAT YOU CAN PRESS OUT TO TELL IF THAT IS WITHIN THE NORMAL RANGE OR IF IT’S A LITTLE LOWER THAN IT SHOULD BE AND THEN THEY CAN GIVE YOU MEDICINES TO SEE IF IT IMPROVES THAT BREATHING. )) (NINA) DR. ELISA ILLING SAYS SOME ASTHMA PATIENTS MAY HAVE FELT BETTER OVER TIME OR STOPPED FILLING THEIR INHALER PRESCRIPTION BECAUSE OF THE COST… RESEARCH DOES SHOW OLDER ADULTS TEND TO PRIORITIZE OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS OVER ASTHMA… UNDERESTIMATING THE IMPACT IT CAN HAVE… IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE BUT EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS… TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. (SCOTT) WHEN YOU THINK OF ASTHMA, YOU THINK OF KIDS… ISN’T THAT USUALLY WHEN PEOPLE ARE DIAGNOSED? (NINA) MOST PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA EXPERIENCE THEIR FIRST SYMPTOMS AT A YOUNG AGE. BUT ASTHMA CAN DEVELOP FOR ANYONE AT ANY AGE. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR ADULTS IN THEIR 70S OR 80S TO DEVELOP ASTHMA SYMPTOMS FOR THE FIRST TIME. IF YOU EXPERIENCE WHEEZING, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, TIGHTNESS IN THE CHEST, CHRONIC COUGH – WITH YOUR REGULAR ACTIVITIES SUCH AS HOUSEWORK, GARDENING, OR WALKING, YOU SHOULD TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR RIGTH AWAY. (LAUREN) NEW ON DAYBREAK, FALL BREAK IS


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