Elderly asthma is a disorder that affects how many older people live on a daily basis. It is a chronic respiratory disorder that affects breathing and quality of life.
The basic treatment strategies for this mature population are ongoing education, the daily use of peak flow meter, and proper medical treatment.
The ultimate goal is for the sufferer to control symptoms and have a normal life.
Since many people from the older population suffer from multiple illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, etc., they are sometimes limited on how to approach treatment for asthma.
Ongoing Education Plays A Key Part Of Treating Elderly Asthma
For the elderly, proper education must include a thorough explanation of the disease and treatment options. Due to the fact this group tend to have a long medical history, they have to be taught about careful administration of medications, possible side effects, and possible interactions with other drugs.
Family members need to be educated also. Depending on the physical or mental condition of an elderly person, he or she may need assistance in completing treatment.
Careful Medical Treatment Is Vital To Treating This Illness Quickly
When it comes to the elderly, medication has to be prescribed with care. Asthma medication forms a unique risk for older people. It is not absorbed into the body like younger people. Organs such as the heart are more vulnerable to side effects and the liver takes longer to filter out medication. This presents a higher risk for tachycardia, a fast heart rate, or palpitations which are irregular heartbeats.
Unlike other age group, the elderly frequently has multiple medical conditions and this must be taken into consideration. Certain medications are incompatible with asthma and can bring about attacks. Medical treatment should be based upon a person’s asthma and medical history. It should include a risk assessment for adverse drug interactions and potential side effects in elderly population.
Patient Technique In Taking Medications Is Also Essential
Like many asthmatics, an elderly person should be assessed for proper administration of medication. Asthma medication is not effective if it is not taken properly. Any medical professional prescribing a hand-held asthma medication such as MDI (metered dose inhaler) should check for proper usage. Many elderly face difficulty in using this device because of joint problems such as arthritis. They do not have the strength in their hands to handle the device. In this type of situation, this type of medication is useless. A spacer device could easily solve this problem.
During diagnosis, a spirometer can be used to confirm the presence of obstructive disease of the airways. It can also be utilized to follow the severity of the symptoms. This is sometime difficult since some elderly patients have decrease muscle tone and has trouble with the blowing into a peak flow meter.
An Effective Plan Of Care Is Possible For Elderly Asthma
Asthma elderly presents with a unique situation. Although the symptoms can be reduced by an early diagnosis, many medical treatments are limited in the elderly population. Proper management includes a comprehensive evaluation of all disease processes that a person may have. The treatment should also include a plan of care that prevents and treats ongoing symptoms.
Most people find fewer problems with breathing problems when they find an asthma management plan that really works. Read The SAFE Asthma Treatment Guide and discover the four steps to controlling asthma. With a little help from your doctor and the right plan of action, you can control your wheezing and coughing so that you can breathe easier.