Shortness of breath in the elderly
Elderly people tend to suffer from a shortness of breath a lot more than younger people.
When a person gets older, their energy decreases and they have more and more ailments that bother than on an everyday basis, this is normal. Shortness of breath is one such problem that is very common in people who are over the age of 65.
One of the main causes of shortness of breath in the elderly is a condition that is called COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. It is caused by the combination of two separate conditions, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
This condition brings damage to the lungs and it become difficult for a person to take normal breaths when trying to breath.
The people who run the greatest risk of suffering from COPD are chronic smokers and people who might inhaled second hand smoke for a good portion of their lives.
Some of the main symptoms of this condition are persistent coughing, phlegm and chest infections.
Heart conditions can also cause a person to experience a shortness of breath.
One of the main conditions that lead to a shortness of breath and is associated with the heart is a pulmonary embolism. In this condition, a blood clot might have moved into the lungs and is now causing a person to have trouble breathing.
Pnueumothorax is a condition in which air is blocked in the chest wall and this also leads to a shortness of breath.
Atelectasis is caused when a lung collapses and it one of the most severe and serious cause of a shortness of breath.
When a person has a congestive heart failure fluid builds up in the lungs and the feet, which can also cause breathing problems.
When an elderly person experiences a heart attack there is a lot of tightness in the chest and an inability to breath.
Anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells are weaken and it can limit the amount of oxygen that is being distributed throughout the body.
There are also numerous conditions that affect the lings directly that can cause a shortness of breath.
Some of these include bronchitis, pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, Interstitial Lung Disease or sarcoidosis.
The elderly might also experience breathing problems when they have to much exercise in their everyday lives. Elderly people should stay moving about and not be sedentary, but they are not as vital anymore and cannot expose their bodies to overexertion or more strain than their bodies are able to take.