Tuberculosis was once a disease that was nearly always fatal. This was mostly because doctors did not know how to treat it properly, and because it was occurring at near-epidemic levels.
Today, though, there is a cure for tuberculosis that involves taking antibiotics for six to nine months. This might sound like a long time, but compared to the way things were in the early twentieth century, this is fantastic news!
Tuberculosis is contagious, and is spread solely through breathing in TB germs from for a long period of time. One has to breathe in these germs for much longer than just one day, so it is common for the illness to spread within families or between coworkers, because they have prolonged exposure to the germs and the breath of the person carrying them every single day.
A compromised immune system also puts one at a higher risk for contracting tuberculosis, meaning that the elderly (especially those with other chronic illnesses) make great targets for this lung infection.
If you suspect that your aging loved one might have TB, you and your elder homecare aide should keep a look out for the following symptoms.
Cough – A cough is a tell-tale sign of tuberculosis. A cough that lasts for longer than three weeks with no signs of going away should be checked by a doctor regardless of whether you think it is tuberculosis or not.
Coughing up blood – To add even more severity to a chronic cough, coughing up blood is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Again, no matter whether you think it is caused by tuberculosis or not, coughing up blood is serious, and you should take your loved one to a doctor as soon as possible.
Fatigue – Feeling over-tired is usually a symptom that your immune system is trying to fight off an illness or infection. If your aging loved one feels fatigued all the time, tuberculosis could be the culprit.
Loss of appetite and weight – If you are ill, you will not want to eat. If your lungs are infected and it is difficult to breathe properly, you really won’t feel like eating. Loss of appetite can be a signal that something is wrong inside the body and the lungs, and loss of weight either on its own or in addition to loss of appetite can be a sign that your loved one needs to see a doctor.
Fever – Fevers are caused by the immune system trying to fight off an infection. If your loved one is coughing, fatigued, and has a fever to boot, they might need medical help fighting off the infection, which in this case could be tuberculosis.
Chills and night sweats – Both chills and night sweats are common symptoms of tuberculosis. The body is out of whack due to the infection raging inside it, and the body’s temperature regulation gets off track as it tries to fight it off.
If you or your loved one’s elder homecare aide notice any of these symptoms, you should take your loved one to see a doctor right away. Tuberculosis takes a while to cure, so the sooner you start, the better!
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Greece NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
At Caring Hearts of Rochester, the well-being and genuine health of others is our greatest concern. We are committed to providing first-class person-centered care and services for our clients and patients so they may enjoy independence and relaxed comfort in their homes or residence of choice.
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