Respiratory Diseases: The People Above 65 Years of Age

Respiratory Diseases: The People Above 65 Years of Age

Description and main symptoms of the most common respiratory diseases among the elderly. Respiratory system diseases are the one which affects the environment and especially in the elderly because they have a direct effect on health and quality of life.  Getting Medicare Supplement Plans 2020 from can help with this kind of health scare.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of respiratory diseases that are characterized by irreversible airflow limitation, is undoubtedly the most important. Several studies consider that the year 2020 COPD will be the fifth cause of years of life lost and years of life with a disability, after heart disease, depression, traffic accidents, and cerebrovascular diseases.

The main cause of COPD:

Smoking is the main cause of COPD. Other less frequent causes are those of genetic origin, occupational exposure, passive smoking, environmental contamination, bronchial hyperactivity or respiratory infections, although their importance is very small. Almost 50% of older smokers / ex-smokers with chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough, expectoration and/or respiratory whistles may have COPD. There is a clearly identified relationship between exposure to tobacco and deterioration of lung function. Stopping smoking slows the progression of the disease. But, in addition, the number and severity of the exacerbations/complications decrease.

Prevention measure:

Physical exercise, nutrition, hygiene, and vaccinations can reduce the effects of the disease.

The Flu:

Another important respiratory disease from which the older people are affected widely is the flu, which is often confused with colds. Both present with cough, mucus, nasal discharge, headache or neck … but the flu has more pronounced symptoms and is accompanied by high fever and muscle pain. The flu is a very contagious viral disease. Older people have a higher risk of complications due to the flu. Since flu viruses usually change each year, the older people have to get vaccinated early in the fall for the prevention from it.


Pneumonia is a lung infection that affects the lower respiratory tract. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses and in some cases fungi (in patients with low defenses). There are several risk factors that favor pneumonia age 65 and older; influenza or other respiratory diseases; chronic diseases, such as diseases of the heart or lungs.

Symptoms and treatment:

Symptoms vary depending on the type of pneumonia, in most cases, fever and chills predominate. The treatment of pneumonia depends on types of pneumonia, the severity of the symptoms and other factors. For bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are given, while for viral pneumonia antibiotics are not effective.

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