There are millions of people in the United States who suffer from COPD. However, professionals think that millions more have it, but just don’t have a diagnosis yet. If you are concerned with your elderly loved one’s respiratory health or you think they could have COPD, you or their elder care provider should take them to the doctor to get assessed. If you still need to learn more about this condition, hopefully, this information here today can help you.
COPD does include multiple conditions including refractory asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and some other conditions. Basically, COPD is some type of disease affecting one’s lungs and making it tough to breathe properly.
Those who suffer from COPD will have thickened and inflamed lungs. This makes it tough for air to properly flow throughout their lungs and passageways. When this happens, there isn’t enough oxygen getting through to the body’s tissues. That makes it tough for the body to get rid of the carbon dioxide.
Many people want to know if COPD is an age-related disease. While there is not just one exact age range that is affected by COPD, research does show that people often don’t show symptoms until they are between 35 to 40 years of age.
COPD Risk Factors
In the majority of COPD cases, the disease will be caused by smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. However, second-hand smoke is another cause of COPD. In addition, fumes, dust, and other chemicals can lead to COPD. If your elderly loved one is a smoker, having them quit (if they will) can reduce their risk of getting COPD.
Early COPD Warning Signs
If your elderly loved one starts getting short of breath, you might just think they are getting older. However, if you also notice a cough, fatigue, and increased mucus, this could signify COPD. In time, these early warning signs will become more consistent and other warning signs will show up, as well. The cough will worsen, more mucus will form, shortness of breath will become more consistent, chest tightness will occur, and getting sick will happen more frequently.
If your elderly loved one does get diagnosed with COPD after you or their elder care providers take them to the doctor, there are many different treatments available. Oxygen therapy, medications, deep breathing exercises, and other treatments may all be prescribed.
COPD can be a very uncomfortable disease. If your elderly loved one does have this disease, be sure they get the proper treatment to help reduce the symptoms of the disease.