You might think of asthma as being a condition that children have, but it can also affect adults, even older adults. In many cases, adults with asthma also have allergies. Asthma is a chronic disease, which means it does not go away. It affects the airways, which become inflamed and make it difficult for the person to breathe. Usually, the inflammation is in response to a trigger. In addition, the person might produce more mucus than usual and experience a contraction of the muscles around the airways. Because asthma can occur at any age, knowing the symptoms may help you to recognize it in your aging relative.
Who Gets Adult-Onset Asthma?
Although anyone can get adult-onset asthma, it is more likely to occur in certain people. People who are at greater risk for adult-onset asthma include:
- Post-menopausal women who take estrogen for 10 years or more.
- Those who recently had a cold or the flu.
- People who have allergies, especially if they are allergic to cats.
- Individuals with GERD.
- Individuals who have been exposed to environmental triggers.
- People with a family history of asthma.
- Those who live with smokers.
- Urban-dwelling people.
In general, asthma interferes with the ability to breathe freely. When a person has asthma, they may experience symptoms like:
- Wheezing, a whistling sound when they breathe.
- A tight feeling in the chest.
- Feeling short of breath.
- Coughing, especially at night.
There are several things that may trigger an asthma attack. Some common triggers include:
- Allergens like dust mites, pollens, molds, and pet dander.
- Air-borne irritants like cigarette smoke, air pollution, wood fires, fumes or strong odors, and chemicals.
- Illnesses that affect the respiratory system.
- Cold air or dry wind, and other sudden changes in the weather.
- Strong emotions.
- Certain medications.
If your aging relative suffers from asthma, having an elder care provider can help. Elder care providers can remind them to take their medications and use their inhaler. They can also help the older adult to avoid triggers. Elder care providers can help to keep the house cleaner and free of dust, which may reduce asthma symptoms. On cold days, elder care providers can remind the senior to stay inside or to wear a scarf over their mouth and nose when they go outside. In the event of an asthma attack, an elder care provider can help them through the episode and call for emergency assistance, if the need arises.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Keller, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
Many agencies have great caregivers. We have exceptional caregivers that are trained to provide custom care to our clients.
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