Shortness of breath: old age or asthma?

Source: Saint Louis University Medical Center
Copyright: Medical News TodayToo often, older people are not being treated for asthma – a recent study showed 39 percent received no treatment at all – compromising the quality of life and risk of hospitalization. In addition, older people with asthma are the only age group that asthma is getting worse, with 60 percent of asthma deaths that occur within 65 years or more.
“Not only chalk the slowing of aging,” Slavin said. “Asthma in the elderly are not uncommon. In fact, quite common.
“The good news is that when we identify asthma, has a highly effective treatment.”

Drugs play a role. and ACE inhibitors, used to treat common diseases in the elderly, how, and failure, may cause shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Aspirin, which is often mistaken for, can cause asthma.

Aging of reason generates an increased risk of asthma is that our lungs, blood vessels and connective tissue of the structural change as we age, causing a decline in our lung function. And, because of the misconception that asthma in adults is rare, may be confused with bronchitis, emphysema.

Bottom line? Consider the possibility that asthma and allergies can cause symptoms, says Slavin. The treatments can significantly improve the quality of life and save lives.

Slavin says that cats, dogs, and even cockroaches can be guilty, and warns that effective treatment is necessary not only to minimize the impact of allergies in elderly people, but to prevent the aggravation of asthma, as well. Allergies and asthma are often related, with 90 percent of asthmatics suffer from allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose.

Mistaken for influenza-like illness and aggravated by drugs such as aspirin, and dominated by patients and physicians, is a common and highly treatable in older adults. And while allergies tend to decrease with age, but is also often perceived as a potential cause of poverty for the elderly.

Despite the common belief that asthma is a disease of a young person, at least 40 percent of 40 years at the time of their first asthma attack. Raymond Slavin, MD, with beautiful nature allergist and professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, indicates that there is evidence that it is underdiagnosed.

Allergies, too, are often missed in the elderly, Slavin said in a recent article published in the journal Allergy Asthma and litigation. Although they tend to decrease with the age at which older people suffer from allergies are often confused with another condition.