Breathing problems in the elderly are a natural part of the evolutionary process of human beings. Old age, as we know, involves a series of physical, emotional and psychological changes. Among them, one of the most important is the deterioration of the respiratory system in general and the muscles involved in the same, affecting breathing and avoiding the proper exchange of gases in the lungs, which makes our seniors more likely to develop respiratory diseases. These can go from simple to become respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary infections and bronchial asthma.
This very condition of the age, united with smoking, laden environments, and pollution, make the breathing problems in the elderly a reality that we must learn to manage in order to maintain good health and lifestyle.
As we have indicated, the causes of breathing problems in elderly are completely natural: the lungs age, becoming slower and less elastic, limiting its functions. Additionally, the cough reflex gets slowed down and loses strength, hindering the removal of secretions. On the other hand, because of the weakening of the muscles involved in breathing we become more susceptible to infection. And finally, the general weakness of our immune system in old age makes us more difficult to fight the growth of microorganisms (viruses, germs and bacteria), so we are more vulnerable to respiratory infections.
When breathing problems in elderly become chronic and frequently, we must be vigilant about symptoms such as high fever, tachycardia, rapid respiratory rate, altered consciousness, decays, generalized fatigue and cardiovascular impairment, all of them for more than a week, since they may be indicative that we require specialized medical attention urgently. Treatment can range from strong medication to hospitalization, depending on the severity of the case.
Although we can´t stop time, and we must take our old age with its good and bad things, we can take some precautions: try to keep the environment as clean and airy as possible, avoiding as far as we can environments with excessive contamination. It is essential also to completely remove the snuff or environments where much smoke. Where possible, we should avoid crowds and contact with sick people, because our body is not prepared to cope with their viral processes. It is also very important to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water and fruit juices to keep the secretions fluid. Moderate-intensity physical activity and prevent obesity are key factors to improve our breathing capacity. It is also important to frequently wash our hands, and finally consider the option of flu vaccines as a health supplement.
From Valtrum we invite you to take care of your respiratory health in old age. Having an elderly with a good quality of life is possible if we take the necessary precautions and face it with the best attitude and disposition.