Asthma in the over-60s is an increasingly common and very dangerous disease. Asthma in the elderly has its own characteristics in the diagnosis, the course of the disease and its treatment. In this article, we will talk about The Asthma in the Elderly: Drug Treatment.
Peculiarities of asthma in the elderly
The difficulty in diagnosing bronchial asthma in the elderly is associated primarily with the accumulation of various chronic diseases with age. Therefore, asthma manifestations are often mistaken for symptoms of other existing diseases: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and others. On the other hand, an asthma attack, which can range from shortness of breath to severe choking, can be mistaken for symptoms of other conditions, such as:
- heart failure;
- gastroesophageal reflux disease;
- complications from drug therapy.
In addition, the difficulty of diagnosing asthma in the elderly is due to the important features of the course of this disease in old age. Asthma in the elderly is often characterized by low, blurred symptoms. In most cases, difficulty breathing in bronchial asthma in old age is chronic in nature. Choking attacks are more subdued and muted than acute asthma attacks at a younger age.
At the same time, the cause of bronchial asthma in the elderly is often pneumonia, bronchitis or acute respiratory disease. Therefore, it is worth paying special attention to the timely and proper treatment of any respiratory disease in old age.
A pulmonologist should be consulted to determine the diagnosis of bronchial asthma. To confirm this diagnosis, a peak flow meter test is usually used to measure exhalation velocity and volume. If bronchial asthma has an allergic component, then to identify specific allergenic factors, there is a method of skin testing, which allows you to determine the sensitivity of the body to various allergens.
The choice of treatment for asthma in the elderly depends on the severity of the disease and on the existing comorbidities. In any case, therapy should be as sparing as possible and consist of comprehensive treatment, which includes the use of anti-inflammatory agents and bronchial spasmodic agents. The main goal in the treatment of asthma in the elderly is to control the disease with minimally effective doses of anti-asthmatic drugs. Rational treatment of asthma can significantly reduce its symptoms, avoid complications from exacerbation of this disease and maintain an adequate level of physical activity.