As we age, our health changes and can sometimes bring on new medical conditions. One such condition that affects many seniors is COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can affect how much air a person is able to inhale and exhale. Learn more in this blog post from Senior Helpers Glendale about what COPD is, its causes, symptoms, and if it can happen suddenly as an older adult.
What Is COPD?
COPD is a condition that includes underlying lung conditions, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, causing difficulty breathing. Many patients with COPD suffer from shortness of breath during activities such as walking or climbing stairs and may experience fatigue, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and mucus production.
Causes of COPD
The most common cause of COPD is smoking. Long-term exposure to air pollution, second-hand smoke, and occupational dust particles can also cause COPD.
Symptoms of COPD
The most common symptom of COPD is difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include lack of energy, frequent coughing or wheezing, chest tightness, and mucus production. If you have any new respiratory problems that don't seem to go away after a few weeks, it's best to get them checked out by your doctor.
Can You Suddenly Get COPD as an Older Adult?
COPD is typically caused by long-term exposure to pollutants, so it often develops slowly over time. However, it is possible for COPD to develop suddenly in certain cases, such as if someone experiences an abrupt inhalation of a respiratory irritant. In any case, the best way to prevent COPD and other lung diseases is to avoid smoking and air pollution.
Prevention and Treatment Options
The best way to prevent COPD is to avoid smoking and exposure to air pollutants. For those who already have COPD, there are several treatments available that can make life easier. These include medications, supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation programs, and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke.
It's also a good idea to embark on an exercise regimen as well. While many people with COPD experience shortness of breath that could make prolonged exercise difficult, starting small and working your way up to a more rigorous routine could yield excellent results and improve your overall quality of life. As always, consult with a doctor before beginning a new workout routine, especially if you are a senior with COPD.
Contact Senior Helpers for Senior Lifestyle Tips
COPD can have a significant impact on an older person's daily life. To help prevent COPD from developing or worsening, it's important to take steps to avoid smoking and air pollution. If you already have COPD, know that there are treatments available that can help improve your quality of life.
Senior Helpers Glendale is here to support and care for all senior adults living in the areas around Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Waddell, Goodyear, and Tolleson. Contact us today to learn more about our services!