Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

6 Common Lung Illnesses Among Seniors

By , 9:00 am on

If you are a live-in North Broward caregiver that looks after a senior with lung disease, then it is important to understand the various types and the most common treatments for each. Many can be treated very successfully, especially if treatment starts early. Therefore, encourage your senior to see his or her doctor on a regular basis.

1. Bronchial Asthma

Environmental stimuli can cause a senior’s airway to become hyper-reactive. When this occurs, the doctor often diagnoses it as bronchial asthma. The most common treatment is steroids, although there are other options available for seniors who cannot take them.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The medical community lumps several diseases together under the umbrella of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is often shortened to COPD. Rescue inhalers and inhaled steroids are the most common treatments.

3. Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Most seniors should get a pneumonia shot to prevent getting community-acquired pneumonia. This bacterial infection is usually treated with antibiotics. If not caught early, then seniors may need to be hospitalized.

4. Pulmonary Embolism

North Broward home care professionals advise that seniors who have sudden onset chest pain may be experiencing a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot in the lungs. Blood thinners or invasive procedures may help break up the clot. Treatment needs to start rapidly by your loved one’s doctor.

5. Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Sleep-disordered breathing disease is often accompanied by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a senior’s airway closes but they continue to try to breathe. Central sleep apnea often starts after a medical event affects the brain. Seniors can experience a combination of both types.

6. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in America. Doctors can choose from a range of treatments including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Since this disease shows no symptoms in the beginning, it is often well advanced before diagnosis occurs, making treatment more difficult.

With so many lung diseases in seniors, it is important to encourage your senior to see his or her primary care physician on a regular basis. Seniors also benefit from help from Home Care Assistance. While our Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke caregivers in North Broward cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions, they are highly trained professionals that help clients manage illness in the comfort of home. Call 954-906-5161 today to learn more about our unique services and how we can customize them to meet your loved one’s needs.