Many people think that children are the primary asthma patients, but this chronic lung condition can continue into your senior years, and older people receive new diagnoses as well. Inflamed airways react to irritating triggers like pollen and mold. Swollen air passages narrow and produce extra mucus, which causes chest tightness, breathlessness, wheezing, coughing, and tiredness or weakness. Aging asthmatics encounter special concerns like coexisting illnesses and complications.
Treatment Brings Relief
Whether symptoms are present or subsided temporarily, asthma requires ongoing drug therapy. Advair is a dual-medication inhaler that prevents and regulates inflammation and bronchoconstriction, asthma’s two main components.
Medical treatment goals include:
- Preventing symptoms and attacks
- Continuing standard levels of exercise and other physical activities
- Enjoying lung function that’s as normal as possible
- Finding your asthma care satisfying
- Having minimal or no side effects
Prioritizing Health Conditions
While women older than 65 are living longer than men, they aren’t necessarily in good health. They’re suffering with different chronic conditions than their male counterparts. Research shows that aging female patients who have multiple diseases admit that they focus on other ailments before asthma. But according to a recent study, asthma is a major health risk that can lead to secondary conditions when woman don’t manage it well.
Asthma likelihood isn’t higher among these patients than other population segments. But sickness and death rates are much greater. Female baby boomers suffer with asthma considerably more than men in the same age bracket, notes allergist Dr. James Sublett, M.D. Almost four times more women above 65 die from asthma, compared to other groups.
Sublett hopes that primary care doctors will encourage these women to consult allergists, experts at devising personalized asthma plans so they can pinpoint triggers and cope with their asthma successfully. Lead author and allergist Alan Baptist, M.D., emphasizes the importance of this population understanding that controlling their asthma also can help them manage additional health problems. Asthma treatment is a priority that’s vital to overall health.
Baby Boomer Study Finds Challenges
Baptist and other allergists report which additional conditions older women face in treating asthma and offer various solutions to enhance their care. Factors affecting senior women asthmatics include:
Research indicates that depression rates among women above 65 are 15-35 percent. Worse asthma cases can increase depression risk and severity. Depression treatment in this population also improves asthma outcomes. Consult your physician about depression screening and treatment.
Menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT):
Even though menopause doesn’t raise women’s chances of asthma developing, those who have asthma already experience more attacks typically. Some studies show that postmenopausal patients on HRT have higher asthma risks. Yet asthmatics on HRT often experience decreased respiratory symptoms and asthma attacks. Discuss HRT’s potential benefits and risks with your doctor.
Although asthma is a chronic condition, continuous medical care and prompt treatment can prevent asthma attacks from progressing. But aging women may have limited awareness of how poorly or well they’re breathing along with difficulties overcoming their perceptions of breathlessness. Specialists recommend blowing into a peak flow meter to measure how fast your passageways produce air during asthma attacks.
Potential adverse inhaler effects:
Inhalers are the most effective asthma treatments, but they may cause side effects. Being postmenopausal lowers bone mineral density, and long-term asthma inhaler use can deplete bone mass. So the combination can increase the risk of osteoporosis developing. Older women using inhalers may develop cataracts, glaucoma, and adrenal gland suppression. Your doctor should evaluate you for these conditions. Elderly patients tend to use inhalers incorrectly. Asthma educators can teach seniors how to use theirs properly.
Being overweight or obese can affect senior women and their asthma management. Your doctor can recommend an appropriate weight-loss plan.
Some women focus on relatives’ health so much that they neglect their own. When asthma control is a priority, you’ll be healthy enough to care for others.
Low incomes and poverty may make treatments unaffordable. But good asthma control can help you manage coexisting illnesses. Save up to 90 percent on prescriptions for depression, menopause, weight loss and many more health conditions at CanadaDrugPharmacy.com.
Controlling Your Asthma
Asthma Action Plan
Your doctor’s detailed instructions will include asthma medication timing and amounts. If reading small print is challenging, request larger typefaces.
Avoid asthma triggers.
Staying away from anything that provokes swollen, tight, and mucus-clogged airways can minimize your symptoms and asthma attack odds. Your doctor can help you determine your unique asthma triggers and ways to avoid them. Common causes include:
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
- Tobacco and wood smoke
- Strong sprays and orders
- Food preservatives like sulfites
- Cold air
Notice symptoms early and react quickly.
Asthma attacks usually begin slowly. Train yourself to recognize warning signs, severity, and timing. Self-monitor your condition with a peak flow meter. Responding early to initial signs that your asthma is becoming more severe can help prevent major asthma attacks.